On Thursday, January 21, 2021, Iris passed away from pancreatic cancer in the sunroom of her home in Preston at the age of 93.
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Iris leaves behind her husband, Douglas Mitten, as well as her four children; David (Pip) Mitten; Mary Ellen (Gary) Ball; Rachel (Andrew) Sixt and Bonnie Carragher. She was also blessed with 11 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Iris was pre-deceased by her parents, Dr. Alfred and Mrs. Mary Dinniwell of Hespeler and her brother and his wife, Dr. Alan and Mrs. Norma Dinniwell of London, Ontario.
Iris grew up in St. George, Ontario, where her father was a dentist. She earned a degree in Journalism at the University of Western Ontario. Iris lived most of her life in Cambridge. She worked hard to help Doug start a plastics manufacturing company in Hespeler - all while raising four children.
Iris was keenly interested in fine art. Later in life she went back to school and earned a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph. This endeavour inspired her to open her own art and framing gallery in Preston on Argyle Street. At Gallery Iris, she promoted the work of local and
indigenous artists. She loved meeting people and helping them pick out just the right mats and frames for their treasured pieces of artwork.
Iris also served for many years at her church, St. Luke’s United, in Hespeler. She spent many years volunteering with Soroptimist International Cambridge. She was a member and Treasurer of the Waterloo Historical Society. She also established a post secondary educational Scholarship Fund for girls with the Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation.
Many of her friends and family will recall lunches and dinners at her house. Iris loved to have people over where there was always good food, wine, fellowship and laughter.
It is hard to find the right words to pay tribute to someone like Iris. Words can only go so far. It’s how someone makes you feel that’s most important. Iris Mitten made everyone she knew feel welcomed and accepted. She offered unconditional love and hospitality to her family and friends. If there is one word to encompass the character of Iris, it is GRACE. May we all strive to follow her example and extend grace to others, especially when that can seem very difficult to do. She will be so dearly missed.
The Mitten family would like to acknowledge the care Iris received for the last year from Senior Homecare by Angels in Preston as well as Dr. Rachael Halligan and nurses Joanne and Pat. Their care allowed Iris to stay in her home, fulfilling one of her wishes. They genuinely cared for and loved her. The care she received was above and beyond the call of duty and we are so very grateful.
A private family gathering for Iris will take place in the spring. We hope to have a celebration of life service when circumstances allow.
Knowing how important these charitable organizations meant to Iris, we ask that you consider a donation to any of the following: St. Luke’s United Church (saintlukesunited.org); Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation - Iris Mitten Scholarship Award (cndfoundation.org); Parkinson’s Canada (parkinson.ca) or Canadian Cancer Society (cancer.ca).
Arrangements entrusted to Lounsbury Funeral Home, 1766 Franklin Blvd, Cambridge, ON N3C 1N8, 519-658- 9366 (lounsburyfuneralhome.com)
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)