Iris was raised in Ipswich, Suffolk County, England. After her graduation from high school in England, Iris served her country for two years in the English Air Force. This is where she met her future husband, Dean McKinley, who was in the United States Air Force. They were married in England. Their first son, Glenn, was born in England, and their second son, Ray, was born in the United States.
Iris and her infant son, Glenn, traveled to the United States on an old troop ship that had been converted into a ship that carried hundreds of civilians to a new life in America. Iris was especially proud to be a citizen of the United States of America.
Her sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren meant the world to Iris. She proudly showed off any photos of her family to friends and visitors.
Iris loved to garden and was proud of her Master Gardener Certification that she earned after completing several weeks of classes at Missouri State-West Plains campus. When the weather permitted, Iris was always outside working with her beautiful flowers. She loved her fish pond, taking care that her fish were healthy and cared for properly. She had a deep love for all animals, especially her dogs and cats. She would cook special food for them and was proud to say they were spoiled.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Rita, of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
She is survived by her two sons, Glenn McKinley and wife Glenda of Norwood, Missouri, and Ray McKinley and wife Tammy of Cabool, Missouri; one brother, Ernie Emsden of Ipswich, England; one sister, Audrey Emsden of Ipswich, England; twelve grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; a very special friend, Darlene Whitman of Mtn. Grove; and her beloved poodle companion, Zoe.
Iris was a sweet and gentle lady, who will be dearly missed by those who were fortunate enough to know and love her.
Memorial services were held on Saturday, November 10, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. in Craig-Hurtt Chapel with Rev. Roger Flint officiating. Recorded song selections were “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” “Farther Along,” and “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”
Arrangements were under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove.