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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Iris Molly Kirkland Kleintop

Iris Molly Kirkland Kleintop passed away Saturday, February 19, 2022, age 95 in Jackson, Michigan surrounded by family members. She was born October 15, 1926, to Bauldie and Berlie Kirkland near Rocky Mount, North Carolina Following her marriage to her first husband of 54 years, Alvin Wittmeyer, they made their home in Springfield, Ohio. They met working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base – she as a Rosie the Riveter and he as a civilian working in logistics for the Air Force.

Iris and Al made a home for three girls and time for many friends, church life, and outdoor activities. Iris was a dedicated stay-at-home mom for many years, while she also took leadership roles in many organizations and sports leagues, including League of Women Voters, Presbyterian Women, and Census work.

Iris began a career in Public Health in her 40s by working at the Springfield Health Department in several capacities. At the age of 50, she graduated from Springfield Community School of Nursing which was the beginning of a 36-year career in nursing. She spent her final 30 years working in nursing in Florida, where she and Al moved when he retired. Her last years were spent as an Infection-Control Specialist, Nurse Practitioner. She and Al spent many happy times in Florida. Al died in 1997.

In 2000 Iris married Richard Kleintop and retired. She convinced Richard to spend summers in her hometown of Leggett, North Carolina next door to her beloved brother, Roscoe Kirkland. She reunited with relatives, joined William and Mary Hart Presbyterian Church, and enjoyed the good life. When Richard died in 2012 she moved back to Brooksville, Florida permanently.

While in Brooksville, Iris was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Brooksville, the Winding Waters Chapter of the DAR, the Betty Lykes Stringer Chapter of the UDC, and the Colonial Dames. She also joined social groups and bridge groups which occupied her time. She belonged to several clubs which supported the arts. She loved beauty in all forms.

Family and friends were dear to her and being an outgoing, hospitable person, she spearheaded many parties and events, big and small, throughout her life. She had daughters, Alice Mills, (Michael), Janis Anthes (Greg), and Gretchen Marshall, (Victor). Her grandchildren include Molly Marshall, Benjamin Marshall (Toni) and Christopher Mills. Great-grandchildren are Olivia Marshall and Emma Marshall.

She was devoted to all of her nieces and nephews with whom she kept in touch over the years.

She will be greatly missed by all who enjoyed her stories, wit, intelligence, and drive. A memorial will be held in N. C. later in the spring.