M. Irene Drussell

m. irene drussell

M. Irene Drussell, Moorhead, formerly of Dilworth, MN passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 9th, at River Pointe Senior Living Center in Moorhead, MN.

She was the fifth of eleven children born to Clarence and Margaret Vogel. Irene was raised in Fargo on a farm that is now part of Hector International Airport. The original farmhouse where she grew up is now the Evergreen Dental office in north Fargo. She attended a country school in her early years and went to high school at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She spent one year at what is now NDSU, and quit to move to California to pursue her dream of becoming a movie star.

In 1949, while living in California, she married William Blackburn. They had one daughter in 1951 named Joanne. Irene was later divorced and moved back to Fargo with her daughter. In August of1956, she married Marcel (Jim) Drussell, and they shared in operating Drussell Hardware in Dilworth, as well as other business ventures, like the Kool Cone and a liquor store. In 1960, their daughter Tracy was born.

Irene and Jim enjoyed spending weekends at their cabin on Big McDonald Lake, where Irene loved to tinker with cabin improvements. After they sold their hardware store, Irene went on to work in a variety of office jobs around Fargo-Moorhead, including her longest stint at Stenerson Home Improvement. She was very active in the Silver Follies, and cherished the friendships she made with the other cast members. Not quite a movie star but she thoroughly enjoyed it. Irene also modeled in a number of style shows well into her seventies.

In 1981, Jim and Irene purchased a cabin on Big Floyd Lake and over the years she spent countless hours inner tube bobbing and playing with her grandchildren in the water. Her two grandchildren, Ryan and Ashley, were the loves of her life.

She will be missed for her quick wit, practical humor, warmth, and her unconditional love for her family.

She was one classy lady.

Irene is survived by her daughter Tracy (Robert) Wheeler, Moorhead; and her two grandchildren, Ryan Wheeler, Omaha, NE; and Ashley (Blaine) Nelson, Moorhead, three sisters – Connie Robinson, Lenore Lunsford and Ranny Lundquist.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Marcel (Jim) Drussell; daughter Joanne Drussell; two sisters – Delores Vogel and Rosalie Friedman; and five brothers – Richard Vogel, Robert Vogel, Alan Vogel, Herbert Vogel and Clarence Vogel.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Moorhead MN
    Tracy and Family-My deepest sympathy on the loss of your beautiful Mom. GOD bless you at this most difficult time! Take Care!

  2. Littleton COMother of my best friend,Tracy. When they moved from next door, which seemed very far to a 6 yr old, I thought my world would end. When I realized I could ride my bike all the way there it was much better. What a fun mom. I caught my 1st fish at the cabin with them. Much love all. Peace Irene. Thank you for your love.

  3. FLORENCE MontanaWhat a wonderful lady! A gift to us all.
    We had the privilege of growing up “next door” to the Drussell House in Dilworth during the 50’s and early 60’s. Mutt and Irene were very good to all of the children in the neighborhood. Joanne was bright eyed and as sharp as a tack. Children begged to play at their house. Irene always made the best treats and snacks.
    Thank you Irene for the kindness and now the fond memories. Peace as you join the other Angels in my life.
    Roger DiBrito,
    oldest of 11, son of
    Joseph and Patty (Altringer) DiBrito
    (Who will be waiting at the Pearly Gates to great you.)

  4. Sedro Woolley WAI will miss you my darling sister and will remember our “Grandmothers from Hell” vacations forever. We shared many good times together and my memories of you are unforgettable.

  5. Fargo ND
    I have known Irene for many years. What a classy lady. Always smiling, always wore heels and was dressed so well. She was a good friend a few years ago, but unfortunately have not had contact with her for the past few. My condolences to the family.

  6. Moorhead MN
    Irene always had a smile whenever you would see her, no matter what the circumstances. She loved to “hum”, especially while preparing something in the kitchen. Tracy: you and your Mom had such a special relationship. You always seemed to treat adversity with humor….and your Mom loved that! You have a lot of funny stories to treasure forever and MANY good memories!
    Our Love, Brian & Sandy Torgerson

  7. Moorhead MN
    Tracy and Family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! I am very sorry for your loss and if you need anything I am here for you!

  8. Seattle WASHINGTONAunt Irene,

    What a lovely woman you are and were in my life. I love you and know that your spirit lives on in all who love and were lucky enough to know you. I have so many great family memories from listening to you sing at your home in Dilworth, running through your screen door one summer visit! My mom was so mad, but you said not to worry and to go out and play! Spending summer visits at your lake house…so many good times. I will always remember your smile, sense of humor and your laugh – it was wonderful!!

    My thoughts and prayers to Tracy, Bob and the family. I love you all!

    Linda (Vogel) Loranger
    Seattle, WA

  9. Minnesota
    My mother, Pat Gaustad, often, spoke fondly and with admiration about Irene.
    I remember her as sweet, funny, charming with a beauty-queen smile. Our Sympathy to your family.

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