Enjoyed antiquing and traveling

MIDDLEBORO — Irene Margaret (Lovett) Whitehead, 87, formerly of Wakefield, died August 12, 2019 at the Hannah B. Shaw Nursing Center in Middleboro while convalescing from a recent illness.

Born and raised in the Parish of Greenford, Burrough of Ealing in West London, U.K., Irene was a young school girl during the air raids and bombings of the London blitz of WWII. Irene graduated from the Charing Cross School of Nursing and found her calling as a Nurse Midwife, attending to expectant mothers throughout London by means of a bicycle.

In 1962 Irene immigrated to the United States to further pursue her nursing career. After marrying and starting a family with her husband David, Irene made Wakefield her home raising four children. Irene was proud of her adopted country and celebrated her American Citizenship. Irene worked as a nurse at Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, J.B. Thomas Hospital, Salem Hospital, and New England Memorial Hospital. Later, Irene also worked for the State Ethics Commission.

Irene was extremely active in the First Parish Congregational Church of Wakefield and in addition to working as Church Secretary, enjoyed her service as a deacon, Stephen’s Minister, Bible studies, Christian Education and work with many other church groups. Irene enjoyed antiquing, travelling and spending time with her family, especially her many grandchildren.

Irene was predeceased by her beloved husband of 54 years, David Whitehead. She was the daughter of Amelia (Batchelor) and William Lovett and the sister of Edna (Lovett) Bessford, Doris (Lovett) Porter, George Lovett, David Murray and Jean Murray. Irene is survived by her daughters Sara (Whitehead) MacKenzie, Janice Whitehead, and Wendy (Whitehead) Gabriel and her husband David, and her son Neal Whitehead and his wife Regina. She is also survived by her dear brother Ric Bessford, her sister-in-law Sandra (Whitehead) Dickinson and her husband Arthur and children Pam (Dickinson) Eddy and Robert Dickinson. Irene cherished times with her nine grandchildren Rachel, Heather and Cameron MacKenzie; Alexander and Jonathan Whitehead; and Colin, Nicholas, MacKenzie and Jacob Gabriel. Irene is also survived by her dearest friend of more than 60 years, Helen Horsman of West Peabody and her daughters Eileen (Horsman) Hillick and Anne (Horsman) Song.

Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Saturday, August 17 from 9-10:30 a.m. followed by a funeral service in the First Parish Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Wakefield at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield.