On October 11, 2023, surrounded by loved ones, Iris Roberts Bradley, 84, of Sonora, Texas, peacefully entered her eternal home, where she will experience everlasting joy in the presence of our Lord.
Iris was born to Alpha and Thomas Roberts in Newnan, Georgia on March 8, 1939. She spent her formative years in Macon, Georgia and graduated from Mercer University in 1961 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Iris married the love of her life, Colonel Peter W. Bradley at Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia on October 2, 1965. Mother to Rodney and Dawn, she was a gifted and talented warrior Army spouse, often filling the role of both mom and dad due to frequent deployments of her husband, moving her family 17 times during his career. Iris was fearless and never ceased to amaze her family, traveling to various places across the world by herself, with her children or with her friends on shopping trips. One trip had her walking across communist Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, by herself, during the cold war to meet her shopping buddy on the other side because she didn’t have the proper security clearance to pass in the vehicle.
While Iris liked to call herself a “domestic engineer,” she stayed home to raise her children until they were older, when she started working in the counselor’s office at the high school they attended to be near them. She was a loving mother, teaching her children the morals and values she was raised with. She brought cupcakes for every birthday and attended countless horse shows, speech meets, and football games to support them both.
Iris and Pete moved to Sonora, Texas in 2005 so they could share in the lives and joys of their precious granddaughters, Lane and Carson, attending everything and anything the girls were involved in. The girls were Iris’ pride and joy. She taught them to bake, sew, garden, craft, and most importantly, to love one another. She would always quote Ephesians 4:32 to the girls; “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Some of her favorite traditions she shared with the girls included making a “bunny cake” every Easter and working on Operation Christmas Child boxes each Christmas. Not only was she “Mema” to them, but to many.
Iris was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, rarely missing a Sunday. She was in the choir and led the Operation Christmas Child project, which makes perfect sense as it involves some of her favorite things: shopping, Christmas and being kind to others. She always went above and beyond to host the most special, intimate Christmas dinner, often inviting those who did not have a place to spend the holidays. You could always count on opening Christmas crackers, wearing the crown, taking turns telling the corny jokes and taking a group picture after a delicious meal, at a beautifully set table each Christmas Eve.
She loved baking, sewing, shopping, traveling, crafting, and looked for any excuse to host a party. Southern hospitality at its finest, Iris loved hosting bridge parties, birthday parties, holiday dinners, and any get-together that got her favorite people under one roof. Bridge parties, with their unique themes, were one of her favorites, often shopping for next year’s party as soon as the current year’s party was over. She would regularly invite the neighborhood to view her collection of more than 300 Nativity scenes from all over the world.
Iris was a shining example of Christian virtues, embodying the teachings of love and kindness toward everyone she knew. Not a single person that knew her would fail to describe her this way. Her genuine sweet nature and kindness will be so deeply missed. She was a true Southern belle, with grace, hospitality, and impeccable manners, never speaking a harsh word about anyone. She had the heart and soul of an angel.
Iris is predeceased by her mother, Alpha Eugenia Holland Roberts, father Thomas Bell Roberts, and brother, Morris Edward Roberts. She is survived by her husband, Colonel Peter William Bradley, son, Rodney (and Kim) Bradley of Louisville, Kentucky, daughter Dawn (and Chacho) Cahill of Sonora, Texas and granddaughters Lane and Carson Cahill of Sonora, Texas.
Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of life at the First United Methodist Church in Sonora, Texas on Saturday, October 21st at 2:00 pm, and/or a Mass celebrated for Iris by the Guadalupanas at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Sonora, Texas at 5:00 pm on October 21st.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to the beautiful gems at the Schleicher County Nursing Home who lovingly cared for Iris during the last year and a half while she battled Parkinson’s Disease as if she was family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to the Schleicher County Nursing Home, Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by Love Funeral Home in Sonora.