Cover photo for Irene Pakala's Obituary
Irene Pakala Profile Photo
1924 Irene 2020

Irene Pakala

November 10, 1924 — December 23, 2020

Irene "Ikey" Pakala, nee Cickay, passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 23, 2020, at 96 years old. Irene was born to Eugene and Rose Cickay in Perth Amboy, NJ on November 10, 1924. The youngest child in her family, she grew up in Perth Amboy, and graduated Perth Amboy HS in 1943.

"Ikey" married her late husband of 69 years, John Pakala Jr., on September 8, 1945, while she was employed at the Raritan Arsenal in Perth Amboy. They settled in Milltown, NJ, where they raised their five children:

• John III (Edna) of Jersey City, NJ
• Paul (Catherine) of Brillion, WI
• Simon of Houston, TX
• Victoria (Joseph) of Brick, NJ
• Marianne (Bob) Benson of North Plainfield, NJ.

A proud, 1st Generation American, Irene loved God, family, and her country. This showed through how she constantly tried to instill her values in her family members: always active in her church & local community, a daily communicant, and consistently turned to our Blessed Mother for guidance and support.

Irene's truest passion in this life was her family. Her marriage to John was characterized by exemplary devotion to one another. Her life had no shortage of close relationships, she built and sustained strong bonds with her 4 siblings, 5 children, 22 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. After the accomplishment of seeing her children to adulthood, she spent her time caring for her grandchildren while they were young. Then supported them in their many accomplishments with love and pride. Two passions she shared with her grandchildren were: her love for Betty Boop & quick wit while actively participating in Jeopardy and Scrabble. She truly loved each generation more than the next. She is greatly missed and mourned by all who love her. Irene exemplified the traditional homemaker and was an excellent entertainer who lovingly hosted many celebrations for family & friends. She did everything with love.

Another blessing in Irene's life were her many wonderful nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Stephen Cickay and sisters Rose Hull, Mary Cohen and Helen Young. She was also predeceased by her husband John in 2014 and son, John III in 2018.

Our mom was a generous donor to many charities including Angel Tree, Habitat for Humanity, American Disabled Veterans Association, The Brotherhood of Hope, DSCC, Southern Poverty Law Center, Salvation Army and others. Please donate to any of these in her name.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at The Crabiel Home for Funerals, 170 N. Main St.-at Riva Avenue, Milltown, NJ, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 noon at Our Lady of Lourdes, in Milltown, NJ. Repass information to follow. You can sign the online condolence "guestbook" at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Irene Pakala, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

The Crabiel Home for Funerals

Riva Ave, Milltown, NJ 08850

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church

N Main St, Milltown, NJ 08850

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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