April 7, 1952 ~ July 20, 2022
Resided in: Bryan, Texas
Iris Woolley (formerly Norgar) left this world peacefully in the late evening hours of July 20th, at home, surrounded by people who loved her. To have every person who loved Iris surrounding her would have been an impossible task, as she was beloved by many, and one could venture to say ALL who met and truly knew her.
Born in Vancouver, Iris also lived in Neah Bay and Port Angeles, WA; Longreach and Cairns, Australia; Newport, Toledo, Chitwood and Corvallis, OR; Riverside, CA; before landing in Bryan/College Station Texas, in 1983, where she remained until her passing. In each of these locations, Iris made her mark, and there are many people who have a familiar and uplifting story about the tiny, yet mighty, Iris Woolley (Norgar). Iris was truly gifted at making each and every person she encountered feel like the most important person in the world, and was often called upon by those close to her, for her advice and wisdom because she always managed to sympathize, empathize, or rationalize in ANY situation. Words used to describe her center around kindness, love, resolve, dedication, and true grit.
Iris lived a purpose and mission driven life, dedicating her time, energy, and career to the care and professional development of persons with disabilities. Iris worked at Junction 505, a non-profit organization in Bryan/College Station, TX, which provides adults with disabilities an opportunity to enter the workforce, thus ensuring dignity and respect along the way. Iris began this work in 1987, at the time the organization was founded, and remained the Executive Director until her recent passing. Her dedication and devotion to Junction 505 made it impossible for her to retire, not because she didn’t consider it, and not because she didn’t surround herself with highly capable individuals, but because it was her calling, her purpose, and she loved what she did. While Iris was undoubtedly an inspiration to many, she found herself inspired daily by the multiple facets of her work, from the people she served, to their loving caregivers, the generosity of the community and the support of the board of directors, all contributed to the perpetual felicity surrounding her purpose. One cannot easily measure the impact Iris had on this world, as it seems immeasurable. In addition to her day-to-day life, Iris was a fierce protector of human rights and an advocate for equality. She was the epitome of class, connecting the disconnected, offering respect to those who have gone without, and was a megaphone to voice social injustice as she saw it, doing all she could for diversity and inclusion, the underserved, and the under represented.
Impossible to fully define her impact on the world, so would be the task of listing her family and survivors. When looking at Iris’ closest kith and kin, her “family” is made up of an eclectic group of individuals who have intentionally chosen to embrace, love, support, and care for each other regardless of blood, marriage or conventional definitions. These are both her predecessors, as well as survivors, spread near and far around the world.
Though Iris will be missed dearly, her spirit and her values will live on through all her knew her. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Junction 505 so the mission held near and dear to Iris can continue in her name and honor.
A celebration of life for Iris has been planned for Saturday, December 10, 2022, at 2:00 PM at Junction Five-O-Five, 4410 College Main, Bryan, Texas 77801. Please come as you are, preferably in jeans.
You will be missed and never replaced. Thanks for the work you’ve done and truly SEEING everyone.
Iris was a gift to all who knew her. I will miss her forever.
Iris will miss our long talks. RIP will never forget all you have taught me.
Such an amazingly beautiful woman who touched the lives of so many. I am so thankful I was able to know and love Iris; to know her is to love her. She made such an impact on my life guiding and comforting when I was ready to give up. She will always be remembered for all she did and fulfilling her purpose in life.
Love you and remember you always.
I am one of many people to have been blessed to know Iris. She was such a remarkable, caring and bright person. There are very few people I have met that give so much to others and ask so little in return. She will be dearly remembered and missed be everyone who had the good fortune to have known her.
Lee and I were so fortunate to have you in our lives. You can never be replaced but I know you are in a better place and resting in the arms of angels. Our lives were blessed with you in it and our prayers are with you and your loved ones.
Thank you for being exactly who you were. You positively impacted the lives of countless individuals. You showed each person the respect everyone deserves. You will be dearly missed by so many. We love you.
Ah, that laugh and those twinkling eyes full of good mischief. We are all better people because of her love and laughter.
So thankful to have known Iris and been gifted with her friendship. She was beautiful inside and out, dearly loved by all, and her legacy will certainly live on.
Iris was a kind and beautiful angel, beloved by all she touched. I’ll never forget all the lovely hand-written notes she sent me.
Thank you Iris for giving so much of your life, time, and energy to those around you. You’re leaving this world a better place than you found it due to your work, dedication, and your kind spirit.
I lived with Iris in Corvallis, OR while we were in College. She was one of the best women I have ever known. We shared many good times and bad, but all fond memories now. My heart is forever changed by her presence and the loss of her.