On Tuesday, September 15, Irene Cagle went home to be with her Saviour. Only 11 days earlier she had been in the office at the CLC headquarters serving faithfully as volunteer. Irene had been a part of CLC longer than I have been alive. She joined CLC in 1955 and lived on “the hill” here in Fort Washington ever since. Though not trained as an accountant, she exhibited that most prized CLC character trait – availability. For many years, decades in fact, she was CLC USA’s mission treasurer. In that role she carefully processed donations and made sure that all the funds that passed through her hands were taken care of with meticulous attention to detail. Often Irene was aware of the intimate financial details and struggles of our missionaries here and around the world. She was always careful to be prayerful about these matters, but showed great tact and a desire to keep these matters appropriately private. What a burden of knowledge she must have born at various times over the years.
I knew Irene as “Aunt” Irene during the years that I grew up on the hill and then when I returned with my family on our furloughs from the mission field. She always took care to ask how I was doing personally and showed a genuine care for me as a person. During my college years, she made sure that I received a birthday card from CLC with a small donation included. How surprising it was for me that as an adult I joined CLC and eventually became the Director during her last years of service.
I often wonder how I will finish my years here on this earth and I could certainly learn a thing or two from Irene. As the time came for her to retire, she took great care to properly train my wife Deb in all that she had been doing over the years. Then in an act of true servanthood, she volunteered to work with Deb in whatever way she was needed. That relationship blossomed and Deb came to rely on her faithfulness knowing that Irene would always be in the office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Like everyone of us, Irene was not perfect. She was a very private person and struggled to accept the kindness of others at times. There was much about Irene that I am sure I did not know. I even learned during her last week on earth that here first name was Anna. Despite it all, I will remember Irene as a precious servant who finished her life well serving her Lord with all her might.