Obituary: Irene B. Tibert, 81

Irene B. Tibert, 81, of Southborough, passed away peacefully in the presence of her family on April 21, 2016. She was the wife of Richard F. Tibert.

Irene was born in 1934 to Dominick and Chiara Dominianni in Brooklyn, NY.

After graduating from James Madison High School she enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served during the Korean War. Upon discharge she continued to serve with the National Guard.

In her earlier days she and her former husband Bill Burkis operated a small landscaping and maintenance business. She was employed for a while at Algonquin Regional High School in the multi-media department. She worked ten years for the U.S. Postal Service in Marlborough. Being the patriotic and devoted person that she was, she worked thirty -three years as Southborough’s Veterans Agent, and proudly wore her dress blues at patriotic and military events and ceremonies. 

She was also much involved in the establishment of WIMSA, the Women In Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, DC. Her name and short audio bio is recorded there. Irene took various courses of study at Framingham State College and gradually developed a passion for American history. She was especially intrigued by, as she would put it, the “First Ladies and their husbands”. Irene loved ballet, and for a short time she taught youngsters in her home. She enjoyed her travels to Europe, and most especially to Italy, her land of heritage. She enjoyed sailing aboard the historic windjammers in Penobscot Bay and along the Maine coast. She liked to keep active as possible with traditional jazz, museums, live theater and tasteful movies.

Besides her husband Dick, Irene is survived by daughter Laura and husband Lewis Mayo, daughter Lisa A. Hazell, daughter Patricia M. Burkis, step-daughter Lauren M. and her husband Dan Wells, step-son Gary A. Tibert, granddaughter Monika I. and her husband Jay Sarsfield, granddaughter Sarah I. Hazell, grandson Christopher R. Hazell, grandson Nicholas W. Darby, grandson William D. Mayo, grandson John A. Mayo, grandson Andrew J. Mayo, brother Bruno “Bob” and wife Gunta Dominianni and beloved nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her former husband, William Burkis in 1974 and her sister Clare and husband Johnnie Basile.

A private family service with Military Honors will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Westborough.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Straight Ahead Ministries, 791 Main St., Worcester, MA 01610

(Obituary via Westborough Funeral Homes; photo via

Irene Tibert collecting for Toys for Tots
(click to enlarge)

Updated (4/29/16 4:19 pm): I added the photo right of Irene collecting toys from the library for Toys for Tots, contributed by Bob Flynn.

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Jim Foley
7 years ago

Sad news indeed, As the veterans agent and neighbor she had always been very kind to my family. Sorry to her family i know it is a very difficult time. May she rest in peace.

Bob Flynn
7 years ago

Irene was always involved with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive. It was very special that she made herself available to receive toys at the Southborough Library, wearing her Dress Blues and representing a wonderful tradition of the Corps. We will miss Irene!

Dick Tibert
7 years ago

Beth –
You had no right to post Irene’s obituary on Facebook.
It was very presumptuous of you. You lack class and respect.
Dick Tibert

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