Services to celebrate the life of Iris James will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 24, 2023 in the Rivercrest Chapel & Event Center, Bixby. Interment will follow in the Bixby Cemetery. Family will receive friends for visitation on Thursday evening, February 23, 2023 from 6-8 p.m. also at Rivercrest.
Iris Flo Ryker was born September 26, 1928, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She was the youngest child of eight born to Jacob and Vester (Brown) Ryker. The Ryker family resided in Tahlequah where Iris received her education.
Iris's childhood memories surrounded growing up on the family farm with her beloved siblings. She found great pleasure in family outings to nearby Point of the Pines to overlook the beautiful and scenic Illinois River.
As a young woman, Iris fell quickly in love with a handsome soldier named Andrew James. They tied the knot in neighboring Arkansas, eventually establishing their home in Tulsa where Andrew worked as a carpenter. Later, they would move their family to Liberty Mounds and begin their own business in Bixby. "Andy's Daylight Donut Shop" would become a favorite fixture of the Bixby Community. This experience, in Iris's opinion, made her an expert in donuts. In fact, after the business closed and the years progressed, she was happy to give her opinion about any other donut she tasted. They almost always came up short in comparison to those she and Andy made.
A hard worker, to put it mildly, Iris worked full-time until she was 84. Outside of running a side business as a tailor and seamstress, she worked for several years at Johnnie Lee Wills' western store. She would later be employed by Wal-Mart, where she would work another 20 years before finally retiring in 2013.
When she was not at work, Iris could be found attending church, lovingly tending to her garden, or enjoying country gospel music, often singing along in her beautiful alto. More than anything, Iris loved the hunt for a good bargain. She was known for traveling miles to save a few pennies and her loved ones often joked that what she spent on gas canceled out the savings. Of course, it was hard to convince Iris of that! Iris was a politically engaged and passionate citizen, faithfully supporting the causes that aligned with her values and ideals. She was proudly associated with Victory Christian since 1982.
Sassy, stubborn, strong-willed, and opinionated are a few of the words that begin to describe Iris. She was a compassionate and devout woman of conviction and Faith. She was a pillar of strength for her children and a constant and loving presence for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There is no doubt that Iris will be deeply missed. Holiday and family gatherings will not be the same without her opinions and sass, but there will be a race to see who will carry on that torch!
Iris passed peacefully from this life on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at the home she shared with her daughter in Sapulpa. Iris was 94.
She is survived by: her son, Dale and his wife, Florence, and by her daughter, Debbie. In addition, she is survived by her grandchildren: Shilah (Marty), Adam, Oliver, Sean (Kati), and Katy; by her great-grandchildren: Alex, Brooke, Joe, Hayden, Hailey, Ava, Henry, and Hazel; her great-great-grandchildren: Levi, Marley, and Delaney; and by her devoted caregiver and friend, Linda Becker.
She was preceded in death by: her husband, Andrew James; her siblings; and by her son-in-law, John Forest.
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