Irene Alice Startz Skoruppa, 97, died peacefully in Orlando, Florida, on September 6, 2023. Born January 6, 1926, in Alice, Texas, Irene grew up in the Yoakum-Shiner area but spent most of her life in Corpus Christi. Irene is preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Christine (Janca) Startz; a son, Roman Wayne Skoruppa; husband, Roman Raymond Skoruppa, and four brothers: Eddie Startz, Gene Startz, Richard Startz, and Andy Startz. She is survived by one sister, Virginia Bockholt; five sons: David (LuAnn) Skoruppa of Robstown, Michael (Debbie) Skoruppa of Robstown, Tommy (Mary Kay) Skoruppa of Robstown, Joe (Judy) Skoruppa of Sandia, and Franklin Skoruppa of Corpus Christi, and one daughter, Marilyn Shinego of Orlando, Florida. Irene is also survived by 12 grandchildren (Ken Skoruppa, Rick Skoruppa, Suzanne Krueger, Karen Key, James Skoruppa, Rachelle Gatewood, Jennifer Stroman, Jonathan Flores, Jon Thomas Skoruppa, Jason Skoruppa, Chad Skoruppa, and April Williams), 23 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Irene grew up helping her family on the farm. As a teenager in 1940 and 1941, she volunteered with the local “Bundles for Britain” effort, sewing clothing and bedding for British soldiers and their families in WWII. Irene excelled in sports at Ben Bolt High School and lettered in volley ball. Rumor has it that she secretly filled in as a football player for the high school team during her senior year when many of the boys were away fighting the war. In 1943, Irene was among the first graduating class of the new Ben Bolt High School, and achieved the distinguished honor of Class Valedictorian and received a college scholarship.
In 1947, Irene became a founding member of Saint Theresa of the Little Flower Catholic Parish. She remained a faithful Christian, church servant, and prayer warrior her entire life.
Irene was passionate in taking care of her family and was known for her delicious home-cooked meals and desserts. It was rare when her children, grandchildren, or the many nieces and nephews who often stayed at their home, could not find freshly baked oatmeal cookies in her kitchen. They delighted in her home deliveries of sugar cookies and other treats on Valentine’s Day and birthdays. Irene also happily served as a surrogate Mom and Grandma to many others outside of the family. Even the children who attended Gibson Elementary School loved Irene as she served them with joy in the school cafeteria for six years.
Serving as pallbearers will be Ken Skoruppa, Rick Skoruppa, James Skoruppa, Jason Skoruppa, Chad Skoruppa, and Jon Thomas Skoruppa.
Visitation will be held from 5 PM until 8 PM on Monday, September 18, 2023, at Sawyer George Funeral Home – 12497 Leopard St., Corpus Christi, Texas, 78410. A Holy Rosary will be recited at 10:15 AM on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Violet – State Hwy 44 at CR 61, Robstown, Texas, 78380, followed by a mass at 11 AM. Interment will be at Saint Anthony’s Cemetery in Violet, Texas.