Irene Tobin

Honored by:Terrence & Maureen Tobin
Brick location:D:3  map

Irene Elizabeth Schmitz Tobin was born on March 29, 1933 and raised at Parnell, Missouri (in Nodaway County) by Bernadine and Anna Schmitz. Her father ran an Allis Chalmers farm implement dealership in Parnell before his death in 1943. Her mother continued the business for a number of years thereafter and as of this writing resides in the Maryville Care Center in Maryville, Missouri. Irene had two sisters and four brothers. She was active in 4-H and attended state leadership camp. Irene received a bachelor degree in home economics from Northwest Missouri State College in 1954 and then taught at Hopkins, Conception and Maryville, Missouri. She began teaching at the New Market Community Schools (New Market, Iowa) in 1968 and continues today. For most of her teaching career she taught home economics at the junior high and high school level.

Irene met James Kelly Tobin of Burlington Junction, Missouri (also in Nodaway County) through 4-H and they were married on June 6, 1955 at St. Joseph's Church in Parnell. After farming for several years in the Burlington Junction area, they moved to a rented farm outside New Market, Iowa in 1963 and in 1968 purchased a nearby farm where they live today. They have four sons--Jim of St. Louis, Missouri, Terry of Des Moines, Iowa, Kevin now working in Quechultenango in Mexico and Bernie of Indianapolis, Indiana. The Tobin family has been active in St. Clare Church (Clarinda, Iowa) 4-H, county extension, soil conservation district, school activities, Democratic politics, FarmHouse Fraternity at Iowa State University, sports, genealogy, and travel. Members of the family have lived, studied, and/or traveled extensively in England, the (then) Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, Norway, India, Costa Rica, Somalia, and Mexico. Irene and Kelly now have three daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.

Why does a brick bearing the name of Irene Tobin belong in the Plaza of Heroines? Because of the way she has lived her life and what she stands for. She has been and continues to be an inspiration to her family, friends, and students for her dedication, hard work, and caring nature. She raised a family in a way that prepared them well for the living of a full life-mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. She survived many hardships and frustrations including the deaths of her father and a sister, the farm crisis of the 1980's, and seldom having enough time to meet her own high standards in both family life and her teaching career. Yet she kept a positive attitude and continued to be guided by her strong faith. She has always been there for us. Irene Tobin, our mom, is truly a heroine.

Submitted March 1995 by Terry Tobin.