Irene was born Irene Joy Simpson in Salinas, California on June 8th, 1952 to Doris & Thomas Simpson. She has 3 siblings, Donna Roetter, Linda Ourada and Thomas Jay Simpson, all residing in Washington State.
Her surviving children: & grandchildren:
- Joshua & Celeste: Arielle & Isaac
- Joel & Mirjam: Emma & Daniel
- Katie & John: Madison, Rylie & Layla
- Alisha & John: Nathanael, Sarah, Amelia & Oliver
- Alayna: Brandon & Corbin
- Lacey & John: Olivia & Maria
Irene Joy & Wayne C Anderson first met and fell in love in the 8th grade at Puget Sound Junior High School which was located at 1st Avenue South and South 128th Street in south Seattle. They remain steadfastly in love for 53 years.
Irene & Wayne married on Saturday, September 25th, 1971. This day marked 5 years of officially “going steady” and was the 25th anniversary of Wayne’s parents, Jesse & Marie Anderson.
Joshua Jesse & Joel Micah Anderson were born on March 11, 1975, and one month later, Wayne started working for the City of Seattle as a firefighter. In the next year, Joel was stricken with spinal meningitis and would have died had the Lord not intervened with His great healing miracle power that saved Joel’s life. During this battle for Joel’s life, both Irene & Wayne surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ forever.
Wayne & Irene responded to a very supernatural call from God the Father to enter into the ministry of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and have served diligently for more than 4 decades.
Irene wrote this following account on May 25, 2018 (unedited):
On Sunday morning, Memorial Day weekend 1976, Wayne was on his shift as a firefighter in Seattle. I awoke and was startled when I looked at the clock and realized it was almost 9 am, and our 15-month-old twin boys had not awakened. I quickly went into their room and found Joshua sleeping peacefully but his identical twin, Joel, was burning up with a fever. I called Wayne’s mom, and dad who only lived a few miles away and they quickly came. In the meantime, I held Joel in a bathtub of cold water to lower his temperature while talking with Wayne on the phone. Wayne was calm and reassuring and told me everything was going to be alright, but unbeknownst to me he already had an aid car on the way to our house. Wayne’s parents arrived first and not knowing that an aid car was on its way, we hurriedly drove Joel to the nearest hospital and passed the aid car coming to our home. At the hospital Joel was lethargic, and his temperature was so high that it couldn’t be properly measured. Following a spinal tap, he was diagnosed with viral spinal meningitis and was quickly transferred to Children’s Hospital in Seattle. We were told by a Dr. Anderson that Joel was probably not going to live, but if he did, he would most likely be blind, unable to walk and mentally impaired. We stayed with Joel in ICU until the early hours of Memorial Day when the nurse urged us to find a couch somewhere in the hospital to lay down and rest, promising us that if Joel needed us or if there was any change she would come get us. The hospital was full that weekend with many children with viral meningitis, several of which had already died. The only two unoccupied couches we could find were on two separate floors of the hospital. While each of us rested, separately from each other, we both had a supernatural experience with God. Without knowing what was happening to each other, we both gave our lives to God and promptly fell into a deep, restful sleep. Shortly afterward the nurse found Wayne and told him to find me and come quickly to ICU as there had been a wonderful change with Joel. When we got to Joel’s room, he was awake, fever gone, and angry that they had had to tie him to his bed to keep him there. He was totally HEALED! No blindness, no inability to walk and no mental impairment. The doctors ran every test and kept Joel in the hospital for ten days longer, not believing Joel could have gone from dying to total health in moments. Now, over 40 years later, our gratitude and faith in God has never waned but only gotten greater. We have seen miracles like this over and over throughout our ministry and continue to rely on Jesus as our healer and Savior. When people ask us why we are trusting God instead of relying on the medical community to heal the breast cancer that I’ve been diagnosed with we answer “All these years our faith has never failed us. So, why would we not choose the stability of walking on water instead of the frail structures of terra firma?” Amen, Amen.
In the early 1980’s Irene did volunteer work for the Department of Social & Health Services of Washington State and began working with the Child Foster Care system. Soon she was drawn to three sibling children that were in Foster Care and brought them home to meet Wayne, Joshua & Joel. After more than a year of paperwork and preparations, Wayne & Irene adopted their three beautiful daughters, Katie Joy, Alisha Anne & Alayna Suzanne.
As Wayne & Irene pastored a thriving church in south Seattle (Renton), Irene worked diligently in the Washington State Homeschoolers Organization (W.H.O.), and she homeschooled her children continuously for more than 30 years.
On May 23, 1988, Lacey Elizabeth was born, and on December 3, 1993, Johanna Rose was born.
In the late summer of 1995, Irene was in her 3rd trimester of carrying her eighth child, a boy who was already named Luke Wayne. Though she lost this child from her earthly care, he never left her heart. This son was aways before her as her computer password and printed in places even after 33 years. You see, Irene’s children and her grandchildren were the focus of her huge and loving heart.
Then came the spiritual leadership that she quietly exampled. Jesus is her “first love,” and her wisdom and experience coming from that “first love” have birthed many spiritual sons & daughters around the globe. People to love was all that Irene Joy Anderson needed in life. The rest of life was only a support system for that love that she expressed toward people.
All of her children & grandchildren were extremely proud of Irene Joy Anderson for innumerable reasons. One grand accomplishment that made us all very proud of her was the Bachelor of Arts Degree that was awarded to her by Boise State University on December 16, 2017 in Multidisciplinary Studies – Cum Laude, having nearly a 4 point grade average. While on the BSU campus, she attracted the attention of both students and professors who recognized her gentle and loving demeanor. She was like a “mom” to students, faculty and even some of those now famous sports players.
Irene Joy Anderson has left her mark – and left this world a much better place than it was before her.
In Alisha’s words: “Mom had such grace and peace about her that as an adult I have always been in awe of her. Her patience and acceptance of others was an example to me of Gods love on earth.”
In loving memory of Irene, as a loving friend or family, please leave a comment with an Irene story like one of those special conversations that you and she had together. What did she mean to you and how was your life changed by her life and the love she showed. …And be sure to visit here from time to time to see what others have written about what a blessing the Irene Joy Anderson has been to them.