Irene Ilves

irene ilves

January 6, 1927 ~ December 25, 2018

ILVES, Irene (nee Rebane), age 91, of Leonia, on Tuesday, December 25, 2018. A refugee from Estonia to Sweden in 1944, she emigrated to New Jersey with her beloved husband Endel in 1957. She was the librarian for the Leonia Middle School for almost 30 years and earned two masters degrees, from Columbia University and from Stockholm University. Devoted mother of Andres and Toomas Ilves. Cherished grandmother to Luukas, Juulia, Kadri and Hans. Predeceased by her husband Endel and parents Peeter and Aleksandra Rebane. The family will receive their friends twice this weekend: on Saturday, January 5, from 5 – 7 pm, with spoken remembrances at 6:30, at the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street “opposite the Fort Lee Library”; and a reception on Sunday, January 6, from 3 – 4:30 pm, with a brief remembrance service at 4:00, at First Presbyterian Church of Englewood, 150 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood. For condolences, directions, or information or call (201) 944-0100.


Funeral Service: January 5, 2019 6:30 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Visitation at Funeral Home: January 5, 2019 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Memorial Service: January 6, 2019 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

First Presbyterian Church
150 East Palisade Avenue
Englewood, NJ

Final Resting Place:

Rosedale Crematory
408 Orange Road
Montclair, NJ 07042

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Memories Timeline


  1. I remember after Endel left Irene so suddenly while on a visit to Florida, she was alone and adjusting to life without her lifelong partner. I received a call from my sister in NYC who asked if I knew anyone who would adopt a mini poodle, whose owner had suddenly passed. I immediately thought of Irene. We drove to NYC and when Irene picked up Annie, the dog literally put her front paws around Irene’s neck and put her head on Irene’s chest. It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. Irene and Annie were an adorable couple. Irene, my prayers are with you. May your journey be peaceful.

  2. My condolences to the family of Irene Ilves.
    She was such a special,lovely woman who was a gift to the Leonia Public School System. As the wonderful Librarian of the Middle School for so many years, she instilled in students the love of reading and taught them the skills of research. She was instrumental in providing a room within the Library where students were introduced to the first generation of desktop Commodore Pet computers. They were thus able to learn the rudimentary principles of computer programming way before it became part of the educational curriculum.
    I feel privileged to have worked with her and grateful to have called her my friend.

  3. With Sympathy . Thinking about the good family times. These thoughts will stay in my heart. Love, Anne-Mare Ilves Klepp

  4. I was a former student. My memory of her is that she always sees me walk into the library. In quote she said “ reading take you to many unknown places”.


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