Obituary of Iris Miller
Iris Miller beloved wife of the late Jonn Miller of Calgary, passed away on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at the age of 95 years.
Just days before the stroke she was wondering whether or not she should give up her drivers licence when she turned 95. She never used a walker or a cane. To say she lived life to the full is most appropriate.
Iris had a zest for life and made the best of the challenges she faced throughout her lifetime. She was the second of two girls, born 11 years after her sister, Blanche. She loved to tell stories about riding her horse bareback to school and had the pictures to prove it. At the age of 19, she married her first husband, Albert Pallesen. They started life together on Albert’s Conrich farm and had their two sons, Don and Larry, before moving permanently to Calgary. Iris and Albert had a very happy household with lots of friends and entertaining. Iris loved providing a welcoming home for her family and their many friends at the house on Capitol Hill Crescent. She was a serial hobbyist and seemed to be good at anything she put her hand to; houseplants, needlepoint, paper toll, ceramics, and the list goes on. Sadly, Albert suffered a debilitating stroke and Iris became his primary caregiver for 19 years until his death in 1994. She handled this challenge like every other challenge in her life; with grace, determination and a good deal of stubbornness. Happily she’d occasionally take advice from her sons and take much deserved vacations.
As Iris aged she became more active rather than less. She loved to hike with the Second Sixties, playing bridge, golf, cross-country skiing, but her favorite sport was curling both as a participant and fan. Later in life she did a great deal of travelling and delighted in creating picture books documenting her travels. In all her activities she created lifelong friendships. One of her lifelong friendships was with John E. Miller. John was a widower and determined to win Iris over and convince her to marry for a second time. He was successful and they shared a happy 20 year marriage until John’s death in 2017. Towards the end of this marriage, Iris again faced the challenges of caring for a husband with declining health. She again took this on with unending love and without complaint. It would have been very unusual for Iris to complain about anything.
Iris moved into Chartwell at the Colonel Belcher in 2014 and the staff and friends she met there held a special place in her heart. She enjoyed the company of the residents, enjoyed meals together, playing cards and yes having a few drinks in the bar at happy hour. Lately she’d branched out from white wine to having a drink based on a Caesar but made with Sambuca. Well… when you’ve reached 94 we can only say Cheers to that!
Iris is survived by her two sons, Donald Pallesen and his wife Lynda, Larry Pallesen and his wife Ann; two grandchildren Sydney Pallesen and Dana Pallesen; she was also loved by nieces Jan Esayenko and Joyce Pollock; nephews Allan Clowes and his wife Linda, Ron Clowes and his wife Sheila; her dear friend Bob Hird.
The family will be holding a Celebration of Life in November of this year when we will have an opportunity to remember this amazing unsung hero, Iris Mary Lillian Miller.