(Ethel) Irene Duckett Weaver McGruder, PH.D. completed her earthly journey on Wednesday afternoon, September 13, 2023, at the age of 89. She was born September 28, 1933, in Roanoke, VA to Willie James and Willie Lou (Smith) Duckett. Reared in a Christian home, she was baptized at an early age and was active in her church activities and remained committed to the memberships she was engaged with.
Irene attended the public schools in Roanoke, VA and graduated from Lucy Addison High School where she was granted a scholarship to attend a business school in Nashville, TN then continued her education at Tennessee State University (formerly Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial College). She received her undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, (ED.D.) Doctor of Education from Tennessee State University in Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in Youngstown, OH.
Irene always held positions (eventually creating a flourishing career) in areas which promoted good mental health, counseling, mentoring and therapeutic technique and services which were cutting edge, creative and modern. From counseling with a focus on Early Childhood Development with Dede Wallace Centers to Drug and Alcohol therapy and counseling with (MADAP) Meharry Alcohol and Drug Program at Meharry Medical Center. Irene conducted many presentations and workshops working with one of the Centers of Excellence at Tennessee State University. She also worked with the Dual Diagnosis Program with the State of Tennessee. Illustrious, industrious, inspirational Irene was also awarded a contract with the State of Tennessee for Employee Relation Issues and Resolution Services provided by the State for all employees. Irene also taught Psychology at her alma mater, Tennessee State University, where the students were greeted with positive adjectives to their name. For instance, "jocular" Joseph on the initial class to lighten the moment of first day impressions. Her entrepreneurial pursuits were realized by starting I. Weaver Associates Consulting, that included The Wellness Center, contracts with mandatory counseling sessions for first time DUI offenders. Always working with the public in one way or another, she touched and blessed numerous individuals in her many years of providing counseling, teaching, treatment and therapy in an effort to restore each individual to wholeness.
Irene loved her family enormously, immediate and extended. She is the mother of four children with the union of first marriage, Marshall Weaver, I, Marsha W. Weaver, Kim M. Weaver, Marshall Weaver, II and the late James David Weaver. Grandchildren Mardae Allen Weaver, Jayla Nycole Weaver, great grandchildren, Memshalyah, Emunah, Orzora and Mardae Yi Weaver.
Irene was very spiritual and committed to her church relationships. She enjoyed travel, shopping, and was a foodie before it was a thing. A fun fact in addition to a beautiful soprano singing voice, in her youth she played drums and was a pianist through middle age, not known why she stopped playing.
Those are just some of the pinpoints of her 89 years which were interspersed with some months of illness here and there, but she always bounced back.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, Willie James and Willie Lou (Smith) Duckett, siblings Willie Jr, Cora Louise Duckett Jamieson, Iris Amanda Duckett, John David Duckett, and Barbara Ann Duckett Singleton; her husband Dr. Charles E, McGruder, Sr; youngest son, James David Weaver, Marshall Weaver I, and many other relatives in that great cloud of witnesses.
She leaves to cherish her memory her youngest sister, Adjowa Clarice Duckett Miller, children, Marsha, Kim and Marshall Weaver II, grandchildren, Mardae and Jayla Weaver, great grandchildren, Memshalyah, Emunah, Orzora and Mardae Yi, and a bonus great-grandchild Solomon, former daughter in love, Emma C. Hicks Weaver, special friends Robin Boyd, Karma Middleton and a great host of nieces, nephews, cousins, church family, friends and acquaintances.