Iris Smith

Obituary of Iris Marie Smith

Iris Marie Smith was born in Jacksonville, FL in 1936. She was the first of 3 children born to Theodore and Estelle Griffin who have predeceased her. Her family soon moved north and settled in the quiet town of Closter, NJ, a suburb of New York. Iris was an artistic child who loved to play with dolls and draw and, as a teenager, won first prize in an American Legion poster contest on the subject of peace. Her naturally sweet disposition and winning personality attracted lots of friends. Before she graduated from Closter High School in 1954, she was elected queen of the senior prom; a notable recognition for a black child born in the segregated south. Her date for that prom, and husband for 69 years, is Benjamin C. Smith, now a retired Port Authority of NY & NJ Police Captain. They moved to Teaneck, NJ and raised 3 children; Ben Jr., Dawnne, and Courtney. 

In the early 1960's, Iris dedicated herself to being a Jehovah's Witness and remained faithful.

Iris loved her family and was kind, compassionate, loving and fair. We all loved her very much, are heartbroken, and miss her tremendously.

Iris leaves to mourn: Her beloved husband Benjamin. Loving children: Ben Jr (Tracy), Dawnne (James "Skip"), and Courtney.  Grandchildren: Tifannie, Gregory, Heather, Erik, and Georgette.  Brother: Theodore Griffin, Sister: Dolores Covington and Carrie Thompson. Brother-in-law: Tazwell Smith (Lillian), and a host of cousins, relatives and friends.


Visitation will be held between 9-11am on Monday, May 6th at T.S. Purta Funeral Home, 22 Glenmere Avenue, Florida, NY.  At that time, the family will be sharing memories. 


Burial will immediately follow in the Brookside Cemetery, Englewood, NJ.

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