Irene Abrams-Shannon, a retired licensed practical nurse, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Friday at Seasons Hospice in Randallstown. The West Baltimore resident was 77.
Born Irene Barber in Winnsboro, S.C., she moved to Baltimore at age 17. She later married James Abrams, a restaurant cook. They purchased a home and owned and operated a Gilmor Street convenience store.
When her husband died in 1961, she was left with five children younger than 13. Family members said she was determined to keep her home and family together. She returned to school and was trained as a licensed practical nurse.
She worked 25 years at Spring Grove State Hospital. Relatives said she became every family member's private-duty nurse. She also assisted her Riggs Avenue neighbors.
She was a member of the Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church in Walbrook were she served in the Pastor's Aid Society.
After many years as a widow, she married Herbert A. Shannon Jr., an auto mechanic, in 1986. She was an avid gardener and planted vegetables and flowers.
Her family will receive friends beginning at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Joseph L. Russ Funeral Chapel, 2222 W. North Ave. A memorial service is planned for next month.
Survivors include four sons, James Abrams, Randy Abrams and Ronald Abrams, all of Baltimore, and Ernest Abrams of Woodbridge, Va.; a daughter, Sheila Abrams-Jones of Woodstock; three brothers, Willie Barber, Ernest Barber and Jason Barber, all of Baltimore; three sisters, Bessie Belton of Philadelphia, Lillian Royster of Lochearn and Katie Roach of Winnsboro, S.C.; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Her husband of 20 years died in 2006.