Obituary for Iris Bartlett (Farmer)
Iris Yvonne Bartlett (nee Farmer)-
May 22, 1920 –January 20, 2018
Iris Bartlett, who has resided at the Davey Home in Sault Ste. Marie since 2012,passed away peacefully on January 20th 2018, at 97 years of age. She was born in Manitou, Manitoba to Charles and Elizabeth (Lily) Farmer, who farmed a half section southwest of Winnipeg. She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, F/L George B. Bartlett (RCAF, retired) and is survived by her loving children, Karen (Louis) Franko of Sault Ste. Marie, who has been her caregiver for many years, and Gerry (Uta) of Sackville, NB., and by grandchildren Erin (Shawn) Franko, Sault Ste. Marie and Jason (Alycia) Bartlett of Fredericton, NB. In August, Iris had a chance to hold her first great grandchild, Audrey Bartlett, Fredericton, NB.
Iris was raised on the family farm, with older sister Ainie and younger sister Loreen, all three accustomed to the many demanding chores that came with prairie farm life in the 1920s and 30s, especially since there were no brothers to shoulder some of the tasks. At the outbreak of World War II, she enlisted in the Women’s Division of the RCAF and rose to the rank of sergeant. She was young and slight of build, but became a skilled driver. “I drove everything from tractors to refueling tenders,” she has said, with justifiable pride. Working in this capacity, she met her future husband, George, who was also in Mobile Support Equipment and was briefly on the same base before being transferred to Alaska. They were married at RCAF Stn. Patricia Bay, Vancouver Island on August 11, 1945.
From 1945 until George’s retirement from the RCAF in 1965, she and her family made a comfortable home in PMQs on RCAF bases in five provinces and at 2 (F) Wing, France, packing up belongings every three or four years and moving on.
While her early years were spent in Western Canada, much of her adult life was centered in Ontario. George’s retirement brought them to Ottawa in 1965, where she lived for 39 years. But she always had a special place in her heart for her husband’s New Brunswick and enjoyed many visits with her son and family in Sackville and at the Bartlett homestead in Bayside. She cherished a special bond with her sister-in-law, Phyllis Bartlett, now of St. Stephen, NB and her niece Judy Bartlett of Bayside.
Always skillful with patterns, material, and a sewing machine, she accepted a job with Singer, and worked at the store in Ottawa’s Billings Bridge Plaza for many years, selling sewing machines, giving sewing lessons, and keeping the notions and material in the careful order that characterized her life. After the death of George and as her eyesight began to fail, she moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to be close to her daughter Karen, who managed her affairs in devoted fashion.
Iris was an avid reader all her life and remarkably well informed about current affairs. She always spoke eloquently and graciously and even as her memory began to fail, expressed herself with the many and varied words in her vocabulary, a gift from all the books she loved. She was a product of a time when promptness, manners and propriety were important virtues, and in her quiet way, instilled those in her children and grandchildren.
She will be interred alongside her husband in Oak Bay Cemetery, Oak Bay, N.B.
Donations in her name may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements entrusted to O'Sullivan Funeral Home and Cremation Centre, 215 St. James St, 705-759-8456. Expressions of sympathy and condolences available online at, www.osullivanfuneralhome.com.