Although Irene Christianson spent the first year and a half at Newhouse, a small community near Spring Grove, Minn., the youngest of six children, she has lived the remainder of her life only about a mile outside of Canton.
Irene Rice said she is very honored to have been chosen as one of this year’s Canton Day Off grand marshals.
Irene explained she and her family came to Canton in 1924, taking the train to transport their family and belongings to their new home. That home was located just outside of town on the farm now occupied by Chuck Fellows.
She attended Elliota Country School, just down the road from her home, through the eighth grade, then attended the Canton High School, where she graduated in 1939.
When Irene married Cyril Rice, she moved just one-quarter mile down the road.
Irene worked for a year at the Mabel Hotel, after which she served as the Canton school secretary for 23 years.
Irene and her husband had two daughters.
She and Cyril traveled all over the world, including extensive travel in the United States and all the southern Canadian Provinces. Irene and her daughters have continued to travel, after Cyril’s death, visiting many destinations, including Norway, Alaska and Hawaii.
She has found time over the years to volunteer for many organizations within the Canton community and is currently involved in the Canton Historical Society and the Canton Presbyterian Church.
Irene stated that out of all the activities being held during this year’s celebration, she is most looking forward to the all-school reunion.