A Funeral Mass for Irma Markert will be held on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral with the Reverend Joseph Morgan officiating. Irma passed away unexpectedly on September 25, 2010. Arrangements are with the Frary Funeral Home. Calling hours will be held on Monday, September 27, 2010 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be held at Notre Dame Cemetery.
Irma is survived by a daughter, Nancy Ann Seweryn of Newtown Square, PA; granddaughter Lisa Irene Seweryn of Newtown Square, PA; a daughter, Mary Louise Markert of Durham, NC; a daughter and son-in-law, Cynthia Irene Pygin and Alan Pygin of La Cañada, CA; a grandson, Alexander Troy Pygin and granddaughter Brianna Tess Pygin both of La Cañada, CA; a son and daughter-in-law, Norbert Ralph Markert and Mary Markert of Berwyn, PA; two granddaughters, Megan Elizabeth and Michelle Louise Markert both of Berwyn, PA; and a brother, Ralph Lalonde and his wife Mary of Ocala, Florida.
Irma was predeceased by her husband, Norbert A. Markert who died in 2009.
Irma was born on April 22, 1927 in Ogdensburg, the daughter of Ralph A. and Irene D. Lalonde. She attended local schools and graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy in 1944. Irma attended Syracuse University graduating with a BS in Biology in 1948. She continued her education at Purdue University receiving a MS in Bacteriology. At Purdue, Irma met her future husband of 58 years, Norbert A. Markert of Detroit, Michigan.
Irma was a dedicated teacher. She started teaching biology part time at Mater Dei College and microbiology at St. Lawrence University in 1959. After 6 years in 1965, she began teaching full time at Mater Dei and became Chairman of the Life Science Department. She continued in this position until 1970. In 1970, she joined the faculty at Canton College, SUNY, and taught biology and microbiology. She was promoted to Full Professor and received the Chancellor’s Award for excellence in teaching in 1973. She retired in 1990.
Irma’s major activity in the community was in the Garden Club. She joined the Garden Club in 1985. She served as President in addition to many other positions through the years. Two weeks prior to her death, on September 1, 2010, Irma was recognized at a luncheon prior to the Ogdensburg Flower show for 25 years of service to the Ogdensburg Garden Club. Irma was New York State Garden Club life member. She became a National Garden Club Master Judge.
She was active in the Adirondack chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and was active in the national organization as well. Irma served as the national secretary for the North American Rock Garden Society. Irma and her husband were presented with an award for distinguished service and devotion to the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. Irma and her husband were members of the Ottawa Valley Rock Garden and Horticultural Society and also the Ontario Rock Garden Society. Irma participated in many beautification projects for Ogdensburg and was presented a certificate with her husband Norbert as Citizens of the Year of Ogdensburg by the Chamber of Commerce on November 15, 1997 in recognition of their outstanding community service.
She and her husband gave many lectures on Rock Gardening and other topics to garden clubs and rock garden societies. The garden at her home, developed in partnership with her husband Norbert, has been visited by gardeners nationally and internationally and has been shown on multiple television gardening programs.
Irma was a member of the Ottawa-Carleton Chapter of the Ohara School of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) and completed the Advanced Course of the Ohara School in 2003. She became the secretary of the Ottawa-Carleton Chapter of the Ohara Shool of Ikebana in 2003. She also studied in the Ikenobo School of Ikebana in Montreal and was awarded the traditional title of Shoden in 1992.
Irma was a member of St. Mary’s Cathedral parish. She was an avid bridge player.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US Hwy 11, Potsdam, NY 13676.
The Ogdensburg Garden Club will serve as honor guards at St. Mary’s Cathedral.