Irene Louise Mock, one of Nelson’s brightest lights, passed away peacefully on April 1st at the age of 68 with her family by her side. Irene was born and raised on Long Island, New York. In 1971 she graduated from Antioch College in Ohio and moved to Nelson, B.C. to join her first husband, Jeff Mock, a Vietnam War Resister.
Her interesting journey with Jeff to Canada was documented in Dreamers and Dissidents (Knowledge Network) and Welcome to Resisterville (UBC Press).
Irene was the devoted mother of Anna and Paul, both of whom she loved dearly.
Once in Canada she became a Registered Nurse, working in public health and psychiatry. She also studied acupuncture at the School of Classical Oriental Sciences.
A wonderful writer and true wordsmith, Irene was a widely respected member of Nelson’s literary community. She was a founding member of the Kootenay School of Writing and the published author of Inappropriate Behaviour, a collection of stories. She taught English and writing at Selkirk College, David Thompson University Centre, Nelson Fine Arts Centre, and the Oxygen Centre.
Ever the healer, she most recently became certified and worked as a hypnotherapist, bringing her medical, and teaching background to her practice.
Irene was loved for her infectious smile, her sharp wit and amazing intellect. She was always learning, reading, taking courses and expanding her knowledge and wisdom. It was always a delight to talk with her about what she had recently read and learned.
She was also a great lover of all kinds of music, and greatly enjoyed her piano lessons and singing.
Irene was a woman of deep conscience and an activist throughout her life. She pioneered the Nuclear-Free Zone Campaign in Nelson (the 50th Canadian city) and was a Peace Tax Truster and an organizer of the Hanford Nuclear Conference. Most recently she was a member of the Nelson Cares Board and was particularly involved in the issues of homelessness and affordable housing.
Irene loved nature and loved to walk. She could be seen most days walking from her Rosemont home to downtown Nelson, usually stopping along the way to talk to several of her very many friends and, of course, stopping for a sweet treat at the Kootenay Baker or the Kootenay Coop.
If you want to find her, she’ll be in the bakery section of heaven.
Irene is survived by her ex-husband, David Planedin, and their two children, Anna Planedin and Paul Planedin, and her brother, Dan Clurman.
A potluck-style community memorial will take place at the Taghum Hall on Sunday, April 15th from 1:00 until 4:00 pm.
Donations may be made to Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation, Nelson Cares, and Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre.