Obituary Listings

Irma J. Anthony

November 19, 1949 June 21, 2018
Irma J. Anthony
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Obituary for Irma J. Anthony

What does an indomitable sprit look like? Let us tell you of one that we knew. On November 11, 1949, Joseph Shannon and Mary (Row) Shannon were blessed to welcome Irma Jean (Shannon) Anthony into their lives. Their hearts must have filled with joy when Irma smiled that great big beautiful smile of hers that would welcome and guide family, friends, and strangers for many years to come. Irma was the oldest of three siblings, the middle child, Gail Shannon, and youngest, Orville Shannon. With the blood of the blacksmiths that came before her, determination and fortitude would be Irma’s allies toward any goal she set her mind to.

While times were not always pretty in the Shannon household, Irma used all of her experiences growing up to shape the future that she wanted for herself. Education was the pillar from which Mary reared her children and Irma knew that the pursuit of knowledge would be the light she would chase to lift her life.

Maintaining her standing on the honor role at Central High School in Minneapolis, Irma graduated in 1967 and went on to pursue her bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University and her master’s in Social Work at the University of Minnesota. Never to be one who was all work and no play, she would often take a break from her studies to hop in a car with her girlfriends for a road trip—sometimes to catch a show in Chicago, other times just to get away to see what the world had to offer.

Due in part to this adventurous spirit, she completed her graduate studies and moved to Denver to begin her next chapter. Irma’s faith was strong and in seeking a church family, she quickly found her (former) spiritual home at Park Hill Church of Christ. It was there that she met the love of her life, Raymond Anthony, Jr. Three years after they met, they married, to have their first child three years later, and all three children—Langston, Jared and David—were born three years apart. The number three is said to be the number of perfection and completion and being so, helped to shape some of the most prominent milestones in the couple’s life.

To know Irma is to know someone who truly could have been anything in any field. Medical? Of course. Law? No doubt. Business? If only her heart was in it. Irma’s calling, however, was in the field of social work and she lived her calling personally and professionally. Personally, she loved, cared for, and protected her family, providing thoughts of pragmatic guidance (whether you wanted to hear them or not), and cared deeply for her friends.

Professionally, well…let’s just say she was involved. Continuing her education at the highest level, Irma graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Denver with a degree in Social Work in 1996. She enjoyed her role as a social worker in Denver Public Schools for 35 years and served as the manager for Social Work Services from 2001 -2008. In 2006, she received a Certificate of Recognition from Denver Public Schools recognizing her “tireless work encouraging students to succeed” and leadership that motivated staff members to reach their potential to provide high-quality services. Irma also taught social work courses in the BSW program at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Her work within the community of Denver included countless hours mentoring and befriending youth and memberships on the Denver Department of Human Services Family and Children’s Advisory Board, Judi’s House Community Board of Directors, Pupil Assistance Fund Board of Directors, and GSSW’s Advisory Council on Racial Diversity. She also served as president of NASW’s Colorado chapter and most recently served as a school counselor at Logan School for Creative Learning.

To ask Irma about her passions would often result in a look of uncertainty that she answered in the way she lived her life. Irma’s passion for her family, young people, students of color, and helping others through their struggles will truly be missed. And her laugh, beautiful smile, and gracious ear will be remembered for years to come. She fought bravely, heroically, and with sheer will against an unceasing disease until there was no fight left and this, friend, is what an indomitable spirit looks like.

It is with great sadness that Irma’s family announces her passing after battling pancreatic cancer on Thursday June 21st at the age of 69. She is survived by her sons Langston (Calandra), Jared, and David and Sister Gail Shannon. She is preceded in death by Her Husband Raymond Anthony Jr. and Brother Orville Shannon

A celebration of Irma’s life will be held on Thursday, July 5th at 10 a.m. at the University Church of Christ, 2000 S. Milwaukee Street, Denver, CO 80210.

Memorial donations may be made at

The Anthony Family would like to thank every friend and extended family member who shared Irma and Ray’s life in these most recent difficult times. Thank you all for giving so graciously of your time, thoughts, prayers, meals, calls, hugs, discussions large and small, smiles and donations.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Irma J. Anthony, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





2:00 PM 7/3/2018 2:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 7/3/2018 6:00:00 PM
Caldwell-Kirk Funeral & Cremation Services

2101 N. Marion Street
Denver, CO 80205

Caldwell-Kirk Funeral & Cremation Services
2101 N. Marion Street Denver 80205 CO
United States





10:00 AM 7/5/2018 10:00:00 AM
University Church of Christ

2000 S. Milwaukee St.
Denver, CO 80210

University Church of Christ
2000 S. Milwaukee St. Denver 80210 CO
United States





2:00 PM 7/5/2018 2:00:00 PM
Fort Logan National Cemetery

3698 S. Sheridan Blvd.
Denver, CO 80235

Fort Logan National Cemetery
3698 S. Sheridan Blvd. Denver 80235 CO

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