Iris Marie Veenstra, 92, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, following a short illness. A celebration of life memorial service will be arranged at a later date with Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids. Private family burial: Linwood Cemetery, Cedar Rapids. All invited guests are respectfully requested to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Iris was born in Cedar Rapids on Aug. 29, 1928, to James and Ella O'Connor. She was the youngest of seven children and was raised on the family farm in Bertram before moving herself to Cedar Rapids at the age of 16, to attend and ultimately graduate from McKinley High School in 1946. On Dec. 31, 1948, she married the love of her life Robert L. Veenstra. They had 44 wonderful years together before his passing in 1992.
She worked at the Dows Building in downtown Cedar Rapids for 20 years, first as an elevator operator then moving to reception with the installation of the automatic elevators. She also enjoyed working in housekeeping at Mercy Medical Center for 10 years before retiring in 1980.
Iris was a natural story-teller with an innate talent for remembering details and dates. She was very sociable, known for taking time to greet and visit with those she knew well or befriend new acquaintances. For many years, she enjoyed dancing Saturday nights with her sweetheart at the Eagles Club and Sunday mornings her kitchen was always filled with polka music. Her many hobbies over the years included bowling, latch hook, annual sequined calendars and seasonal canning with a word search or an intrigue novel within her reach. Her pride and greatest treasure was her family. Her door was always open and everyone was welcome in her house for something to eat, drink or share a contagious lilting laugh with. As our matriarch and beloved "Aunt Ike," she was a fiercely-loving caretaker and protector to elders, friends, neighbors and family generations she raised and supported.
Iris is survived by her son, Kenneth Veenstra of Cleveland, Texas; daughter and constant companion, Patricia Veenstra of Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Kurt (Kim) Veenstra of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and Kolby (Jana) Veenstra of Eden Prairie, Minn., Jessie (Sean) Coburn of Amana, Iowa, and Katie (Jesse) Kopecky of Cedar Rapids; as well as eight great-grandchildren. Additionally, her daughters-in-love, Terry Veenstra of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and Barbara Gilbertson of Blairstown, Iowa.
She was preceded in death by her parents; six siblings; husband, Robert; son, Rick; and great-granddaughter, Cassandra Veenstra.
Memorial donations may be directed to the family.
Please share a memory of Iris at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.