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Iris Mildred Vangsness, 94, of Rockford, was welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven on Friday, March 9, 2018 surrounded by her loving family. Born on March 1, 1924, in Meriden, Minnesota, the daughter of Albert and Hazel (Chandler) Born. She was formerly married to Donald Oscar Vangsness on October 6, 1956 in Waseca, MN. Iris was a member of St. Rita Catholic Church. She was a devout catholic who enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed gardening, baking and was very artistic. Iris also enjoyed working at Byron Dragway.
Survived by her children, Kathryn Hodge, Douglas (Donette), Curtis (Teri), Corwin (Carolyn), and Bryant "BJ" (Rhonda) Vangsness; grandchildren, Jeremy, Michelle (Thomas), Mark (Kristin), Erin (Layne), Justin, Chad (Afton Holte), Chelsey (Randy), Kyle, Karah, and Michael; ten great-grandchildren, Ryan (Stephanie Andrade), Blake, Emily, Samuel, Carter, Faith, Brooklyn, Brianna, and Justin, Jr.; one great-great-grandchild, Elaina; two sisters, Violet and Lillie Mae; and several nieces and nephews. Great-granddaughter, Addison born the day her great-grandmother was welcomed into heaven. Predeceased by her parents; husband, Donald; brothers, Don and Stanley; and sisters, Fern, Lavona, and Hyacinth.
Visitation from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and a rosary being recited at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at St. Rita Catholic Church, 6254 Valley Knoll Dr., Rockford. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at St. Rita Catholic Church with Father John Evans officiating. Also, a visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, 225 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

Condolences & Shared Memories (28)

  1. D and T

    We were saddened to hear of your moms passing. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Kay Wolff

    As Rod said-Iris was our track Mom-she will be deeply missed by The Wolff Brothers Racing Team-I'm sure she and Randy are having quite the talk now!!

  3. Warren Strum

    Iris always brought a smile to my face, no matter how my day was going. She owned all the qualities of a leader. I will always remember her, especially her smile.

  4. Xo April

    Iris was one of a kind, she was an Amazing mom grandma and woman, she was salt of the earth! Iris was fair, honest and steady a calming presence. She loved with her whole heart and I feel greatly blessed to have gotten to know her. I'm reassured that now my kids have one more angel watching over them XO XO miss you much Iris and love you always!

  5. Joe Hawkins

    Seeing Iris and Rhonda at the front gate always made arriving at Byron Dragway a special time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family as we all mourn a great loss to our racing family.

  6. David & Lori Thurman

    We pray that that all of Iris' family would find peace from the God of all comfort both now and forever. Thanks for sharing your wonderful mother with your neighbors. Chase was grateful to have known her and call her gramma, too. Love you guys, let us know if you EVER need anything

  7. Terry & Helen

    She will be greatly missed by us. She was always waiting for our return from Florida in the spring. She would come over and visit with Terry when he was working on different projects while I was working. They had a special bond and she was a great friend of my Mother's when she owned the house before us. She always said she just felt better knowing we were there when we came back from our winter away. We used to marvel at her working at digging her dandelions in her yard on her hands and knees at her age.

  8. Lisa Tacchia

    My heart is so sad. Iris was such a wonderful, caring person. We always enjoyed talking and listening to stories. My favorite was the tater tots casserole story she told us how to make. She will be greatly missed. Love, Prayers, and hugs to the family

  9. Becky Hall

    Although I didn't know her personally, I can see from all the comments that she was loved by all. She raised a terrific son in B. J. and I know he thought the world of her. My prayer is that you will be comforted and find peace in her passing.

  10. John Seisser

    On behalf of the Racer's for Christ chaplains, I offer our heartfelt condolences for your loss. She will be missed but I will never forget that smile and how she helped me when I was a track Chaplain at the Dragstrip. God Bless

  11. Barry & Monty Fisher

    Iris was a very special person, with her great smile and love for everyone at Byron Dragway, she will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her entire family.

  12. Janice Born

    I am so sorry for the loss of your Amazing Mom, Kathy, Doug, Curt, Cory and BJ. She was so fun and had the best stories! And when our Mom died she helped our Dad through such a difficult time. I was so appreciative for her being there for our family. I am so sorry that I can't get back for her funeral from St. Croix. Sending huge hugs to all of you and please take care of each other. Love you all!

  13. Al Sharon Katrena Brent Susan Nelson

    Iris was like a grandma to every one . Her Smile when we drove in. She was just a cool grandma. She will be missed by everyone.

  14. Rick Fuller Family

    This news leaves us all with very heavy hearts. I always looked forward to seeing Iris when we could make it down to the track to race. Such a very kind and caring lady and I am thankful I had the privilege to have known her. I'll never forget her taking the time to cut out a Rockford newspaper article and saving it for me until I got down to Byron to race. Very typical of her thoughtfulness. To Iris's entire family, please accept out deepest condolences. And may you rest in peace Iris.

  15. Randy and Carrie Yuhala

    Our sincere condolences to everyone. She was such a wonderful person in every way and her shoes will be hard to fill. Your hearts will be sad but her memories will live on in your hearts forever! May God comfort each one of you!

  16. John and Lori Schadt

    She was a beautiful person. Condolences

  17. Gene and Janis

    She will be missed what a wonderful 50 years of beautiful friendship

  18. Teri @ Curt Vangsness

    We love you and miss you already! We will always have you in our heart! See you on the other side- Save us a seat! Hope your injoying your first days in heaven!

  19. Bill and Maureen

    Condolences to the family.



  21. Pichette

    So sorry for your loss

  22. John Reese and family

    Iris I feel you were part of my racing family. Since ‘65 I have raced at Byron Dragway and with your smile and caring heart you became a familiar face R.I.P.

  23. Terry and Marilyn Hohn

    Our deepest sympathy to the family. So sorry for your loss, Iris was a great lady.

  24. Joe Kerner

    Sorry for your loss Vangness family. May God bless all of you during this difficult time.

  25. Rick Kurtz

    You will be missed big time my friend. I spent 16 race seasons visiting with you. Always enjoyed starting the day by getting out of my car and saying hi. Some days I felt dead tired and would pull up to the gate at 9pm and there you were. Still working. I had no room to complain about being tired LOL. I will remember you and your smile the rest of my life. Love ya. Rick

  26. Tammy Krist

    So sorry to hear of her passing my condolences to the family you are all in my thoughts and prayers rip sweet Iris

  27. Morris and Terri Olsen

    You were so loved by all of us at Byron Dragway. We looked forward to seeing your smiling face every racing weekend. Even when you weren't at the gate anymore you still made a point to come to our pit in the golf cart to get hugs. Love you Iris. You will be missed.

  28. mark c. hodge Sr.

    With all my love Iris you were like a mom to me,I will always love and miss you,Mark Sr.

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