Irene (Rene) M. Sabo Corcoran, 85, of Westport and formerly of Moorestown, N.J., died Aug. 23, 2010, at the Waterford Regional Hospital in Ireland.

Born in New York, she graduated from Cushing Academy and attended Cornell University until leaving for a theater career. She transferred to Catholic University toward the end of World War II, and then met and married decorated serviceman Joseph Corcoran.

She became director of the Moorestown Theater, working with Basil Rathbone, Mercedes McCambridge and Rue McClanahan. She like international travel, and visited China, Cuba, Italy, France, Austria and Mexico, but was particularly fond of Ireland.

Following the death of her eldest daughter, Mary, at the age of 17, Corcoran changed her career field to work in the insurance business. She was the winner of the Conference of Champions award many years and eventually opened her own branch of Allstate in Cherry Hill, N.J.

She was voted Working Woman Magazine "Mother of the Year" in 1994. After she sold her business, she decided to finish her college degree at Sarah Lawrence College, where she was the first octogenarian to graduate in the history of the school.

She was the chairman of the American Cancer Society education initiative in South Jersey. She also was active in the Juvenile Diabetes Association and League of Women Voters in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Fairfield County.

In Westport, she was a board member of the Greens Farms Association and Friends of Sherwood Island.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Dr. Joseph Corcoran; a son, Joseph Corcoran Jr. and wife Maureen of Weston; two daughters, daughter Christine Corcoran of Hillsdale, N.Y., and Deirdre Corcoran Foote and husband Ray Palmer Foote III of Old Greenwich; nine grandchildren, John, David and Deirdre Wiswell; Lexi, Shannon, Mary and Will Corcoran, and Palmer and Dana Foote.

A memorial celebration take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Benedictine Grange in Redding. Private burial will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to cystic fibrosis research at, and type 1 diabetes and autoimmune research for a cure at