Obituary of Irene Livia (Barbieri) Haase
Irene Livia (Barbieri) Haase passed away peacefully on 25 October 2015 in her Sacramento, California home at the age of 84 from causes incident to Alzheimer’s Disease. Irene was born on 1 September 1931 in Bryte, California in the home of her aunt while her father was hunting doveson opening day. She was the first child of Sylvia Carmelia Marogna and Davide “Gene” Eugenio Barbieri, then residing in Nevada City, California. She was preceded in death by her husbands Donald Edwin Reno and E. Fred Haase; her daughter Lisa Annette; and her daughter-in-law Barbara Ann Reno. She is survived by her son Don (Deborah) Reno; her 2 grandchildren Matt (Maggie) Reno and Damon (Sonja) Reno. She is also survived by her sister Sylvia Milligan and her brother David Barbieri; and 6 great-grandchildren: Branden, Alex, Isabella, Sean, Ava and Logan. Irene grew up in her home above the family bar, Gene’s Cafe, in Nevada City and graduated from Nevada City High School in 1948. She attended Placer Junior College for one year before transferring to Mount Saint Mary’s Business College where she graduated in 1950. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Sacramento and started working for Argonaut Liquor. She met Donald Edwin Reno during her time there. Much to the consternation of her father, they married in secret in Reno, Nevada. On 2 November 1952 they returned to Marysville, California to have a large public ceremony once it was too late to object. Irene and Donald settled in Marysville where he bought into the Yuba Sutter Scavengers. She worked in the office of the District Attorney in the probation department as a secretary until the birth of her son Don. She continued to work in the home until the passing of her second child, Lisa, from cystic fibrosis spurred her back into the workplace. She worked as a secretary
for several large construction companies in Marysville and later in Sacramento Irene had an inventive soul and a determination to see her dreams become reality. She tried to convince investors to put small personal storage units near freeway on-ramps before U-Store-It purchased their first piece of ground. During a trip to Italy in 1963, she fell in love with the artistic precast concrete fences she saw everywhere. Her desire to recreate them here would have many happy consequences in her future. In 1966, well ahead of the appearance of Winnebago, she had a city bus converted into a recreational vehicle that she lived in during many adventures. In 1969, Irene’s desire to bring some of the beauty she saw in Italy back to America began when she set out to learn how to make precast concrete fences. After several years making fences, she became intrigued with a steam curing process. Her early attempts were unsuccessful
and lead her to seek advice from Fred Haase. Initially he tried to mislead her as to the proper temperature needed but after she proved she already knew that information was bogus, he relented
and taught her the proper method. Their professional relationship grew into a romantic one and they married in 1972. In addition to her passion for inventing, she was also very determined to have her family surround her. In the early 60’s, this passion manifested itself in her sponsoring the immigration of several family members from Italy. After Fred passed away in 2001, that passion lead her to purchase houses in her neighborhood in the hope everyone would move in next door. Once she resigned herself to the fact that her family members couldn’t all find work that would make those houses convenient locations to live, she began renting them out. She spent the remainder of her days chasing down tenants; enjoying good music; dancing and spending time with family and friends telling stories.
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