Irene Yocher

Irene E. Yocher

1965 - 2023

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Obituary of Irene E. Yocher

Irene Elizabeth Yocher, age 58, beloved wife of Gordon S. Yocher,  of Tolland, MA, entered eternal rest on September 13, 2023. She was surrounded by loved ones during her 7-month courageous battle with cancer who will continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest. Throughout her brief illness, Irene faced many obstacles and challenges, but she proudly wore her bravery on her sleeve and never gave up her willingness to confront the uncertainty. This vigorous strength of hers will always be remembered by her family and loved ones. Born in Derby on January 9, 1965, she was the daughter of Suzanne T. Hardaswick Bendler of Seymour and the late Michael T. Bendler Sr. and the daughter-in-law of Jaqueline Yocher of Southbury and the late Gordon S. Yocher, Sr.  Irene was raised in Seymour, CT and was a 1983 graduate of Seymour High School, where she served as class president; as well as mentored her peers being a well-respected Girl Scout leader for many years. She worked as a Paraprofessional for the Oxford Board of Education for over a decade and continued her career as a Registered Behavioral Technician for Berkshire Hills Regional School District, Great Barrington, Massachusetts for the last 5 years, until the time of her illness. Irene had a deep, personal sense of fulfillment in shaping the lives of her students.  She would intuitively provide them with learning tools and resources needed to accommodate their own cognitive ability. She was happy witnessing her students succeed in any form, many of which kept close touch with her as they reached adulthood. Irene was also incredibly clever with her hands. From homemade Halloween costumes for her children and grandchildren, to singing tunes of rock n roll in her craft room while painting an inspiring mural, to endless hours in her kitchen as a cuisine connoisseur. Irene loved and appreciated all works of art and beautiful things. She was an enthusiastic gardener raising plants in her greenhouse from seeds to sprouts and then would spread the fruits of her labor amongst her family’s tables. Irene was also an avid reader and loved to escape reality with an enjoyable novel.  Joining her husband on a trucking road trip or sitting on her back deck in the mountains with her feathered friends, a coffee in hand, she’d turn page by page as the hours went on. Together with her husband Gordon, Irene would pause from day-to-day life by packing things up and taking their grandchildren exploring mother nature’s land. From the peaks of the mountains to the deep canyons of Maine, Irene and her family made beautiful memories of camping under the stars, by the firepit.  And even though she wasn’t thrilled about riding on the back of a motorcycle, she was a great fan of spending one on one time with her husband. So, with a scarf wrapped around her golden curls wearing a leather vest, Irene could be seen hugging her husband closely on the back of their Harley, cruising the backroads for hours on end. Hiking, bar hopping at local breweries, grocery shopping on Sundays, or hosting family dinners at home, Irene and her husband enjoyed living life together and have been since the age of 15. Simply put, her passion was her family. She will be long remembered for her special love and devotion for her family.


In addition to her husband of 38 years, she is survived by her devoted children, Natalie Beecher of Beacon Falls, Lyndsay Forrest and her husband, Daniel of Southbury, Kaylee Yocher and her companion, Tim Colli of Beacon Falls and Megan Yocher of Florida; a brother, Micheal Bendler, Jr. of East Hartford and a sister, Victoria Bendler-Charles and her husband, Patrick Charles of Seymour; cherished grandchildren, Abigail, Sophia and Ryan Beecher of Beacon Falls, Melanie Dixon of Beacon Falls and Amelia Vedder of Florida; as well as her nephews, Zachariah Bendler, Tuckker Bendler-Reza and fiancé Amber Rivera and their families; many other nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. 


A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 10:00 AM in the Church of the Good Shepherd of St. Nicholas Parish, 135 Mountain Rd., Seymour. A celebration of Irene’s life will directly follow. Interment will be private. The Wakelee Memorial Funeral Home, 167 Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia, is in care of arrangements.  Irene unselfishly volunteered at the Special Olympics, memorial contributions to honor her memory may be made to the Special Olympics Western Massachusetts, 512 Forest St, Marlborough, MA 01752,  Online condolences may be made at


Memorial Mass

10:00 am
Saturday, October 28, 2023
St. Nicholas Parish, Church Of The Good Shepherd
135 Mountain Road
Seymour, Connecticut, United States

Memorial Contributions

Irene unselfishly volunteered at the Special Olympics, memorial contributions to honor her memory may be made to the Special Olympics Western Massachusetts, 512 Forest St, Marlborough, MA 01752,