(wife of Thresher Commander John "Wes" Harvey)
We express our heartfelt condolences to the Harvey family on Irene’s passing.  As a leading light in their lives has dimmed, so it has for all who knew her.  We wish their grief and mourning find them nothing but fondest memories.
Obituary for Irene J. Harvey
Irene Harvey, 87, passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2014.  Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Walter and Helene Nagorski, Irene graduated from Frankford High School and Frankford Hospital School of Nursing.  In 1950 she married her high school sweetheart, John “Wes” Harvey, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.  Wes was the Commanding Officer of the USS THRESHER SSN 593 when she was lost at sea on April 10, 1963.  Always a devoted Navy wife and Mother, Irene made her home at: Newport News, VA, Quonset Point, RI, Idaho Falls, ID, Groton, New London, and Waterford, CT, Honolulu, HI, and Mare Island, CA.  Her final years were at Branford and Rocky Hill, CT.
As a nurse and Navy widow Irene touched many lives.  She believed that the meaning of life is not to be found in mere survival.  Instead, life’s purpose is to be found somewhere in the process of caring, sharing, and loving.  She taught us that strength and faith are not things you acquire in a moment when you need them; and instead, they come from the process of searching from all you have experienced.
Active in local politics, Irene attended the Inaugural Ball of President Johnson with the Democratic National Committeewoman.  On May 17, 1969, Irene sponsored and christened the USS FLYING FISH SSN 673 which was built by General Dynamics in Groton, CT.  Irene served on DACOWITS, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.  The Committee traveled to every major military installation in the country to interpret to the public the need for and role of women in the services and to promote public acceptance of the military service as a career for women.  She was the first Postal Nurse in Connecticut and worked at the Brewery Street facility in New Haven, retiring as Head Nurse in 1986.  The USPS became her extended family.
Irene leaves behind two sons, John and Bruce and his wife Maresa and two grandchildren, Laura and John.
Services will be private and there will be a burial at sea at the sight of the loss of the THRESHER.   To extend online condolences please visit  ... .”
We also express greatest appreciation and gratitude that John and Bruce chose to honor her memory with contributions to the Thresher Memorial Project.  They personally have sponsored a granite bench and the Memorial Park flagpole which will illuminate the American flag it will carry and shine down on the Thresher monument and courtyard.
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