Seems everyone called her mom. Iris’ home was the one where all the kids seem to gravitate. Though her house wasn’t big, its walls were elastic; there was always room for someone to stay when they needed a place. On her stove you’d find a 2nd vegetable in case some of the neighborhood kids wanted dinner and even the neighbor’s dog knew that their home was the safe place to be. Iris had the ability to remember everyone’s name (unless she was yelling at her kids) and she knew everyone’s birthday: people were important to her. She had a competitive side; an athlete from the days of her youth, Iris taught kids gymnastics, how to hold a bat and how to throw a ball. She posted her Rummy 500 score sheets on the fridge and though Mom Mom may have occasionally been beaten, she made her grandkids work for it. Battling jeopardy and doing crossword puzzles in ink kept her mind sharp. On Sundays Iris would gather her flock back to her home for eye roast and baked macaroni. Her favorite pondering spot was by the kitchen counter, though some argued she was just fishing for a back rub. Her hugs were legendary and her advice was sage; Iris had quality conversations.
Though she wasn’t initially attracted to the WWII sailor who demanded a kiss after a few too many (and may have dumped out his drink), Iris endeavored to give Philip a second chance. Their first date was in November; in March they’d embark on a 48 year marriage. They’d be the love of each other’s lives until his passing in 1994 and they made sure to never keep it a secret. They were blessed with 4 daughters, Phyllis, Susan (Mike) Lanser, Jean (Bob) Grabowski, and Jennie (Lou) Esposito; 7 grandchildren: Brian (Lisa), Lawren (Dan), Michael, Amanda (Dan), Joseph, Nicolas and Luca and 2 great grandchildren: Michael and Ian. She is survived by her brother, Victor (Shirley) Watson and was pre-deceased by siblings: Horace, Rachel and Melvin.
Come celebrate 86 motherly years Sunday 7-9 p.m. and Monday 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside, where there will be a service at 11:00. Interment BGWCD cemetery, Wrightstown. In lieu of flowers donation to the ARC of Gloucester County, thearcgloucester.org, will be appreciated.