In Loving Memory of
Iris Maude Best
Mother, Grandmother, Aunt and Friend
On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, in Arlington, VA after a brief illness, His daughter Iris Maude Best was called by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to her heavenly abode to live eternally, and to occupy a place in His mansion. As a follower, and a believer of Christ, Iris affectionally called Mrs. Best was born on October 18, 1923, in Cristobal, Republic of Panama to Albert Green and Rosalind Marshall Green.
She was raised in Silver City, Canal Zone along with her siblings William, Celestina, Carlos, Lena and Oscar. During her youth she attended Silver City Elementary School and graduated from Silver City Middle School. Additionally, she took correspondence courses in secretarial school and hairdressing classes at PORO College Beauty School. In her youth, Iris was active in sports, such as, softball, volleyball, and track and field, setting several records in track competitions.
As a young lady she married Calvin Joseph Best, Sr. in 1947 at Saint Vincent Catholic Church in Silver City, Canal Zone. Consequently, Iris, and Calvin Sr. formed a family in which were Calvin Jr., Barbara, Booker T, Vern, Yvetta and Velasquez. During the initial years of her marriage, she worked as a Cashier at the Commissary as well as a supervisory Clerk at the Mount Hope Supply Division of the Panama Canal Company. As her children were born and her family grew, the demands and responsibilities of keeping a home, and working as a supervisor became more difficult to balance; thus, she decided to quit her job, to dedicate herself entirely to taking care of her home, husband, and children.
After her children grew, Iris joined the American Red Cross, volunteering at Coco Solo Hospital. Other activities that she engaged in during her spare time included volunteering as an Instructor of Arts and Crafts during the Rainbow City Summer School Program, teaching cake decoration, sewing, and culinary skills to many teenagers, girls, and young ladies in the community. As a Christian she was president of the Ladies Sodality of Mary at Saint Vincent Catholic Church in Rainbow City.
In 1973, she immigrated from Panama to the USA, relocating to Washington, DC, where she lived with her sister Celestina Green. In 1976, she and her family moved to Oxon Hill, and then to FT. Washington, MD where she lived for many years. Over the years, Iris worked many jobs, including, as a Salesperson at G Street Fabric Stores in Rockville MD and Falls Church Virginia. She also worked as an aide at Sacred Heart Nursing Home in Hyattsville Maryland and at a Drapery Factory in Washington DC. In her retirement she continued her volunteer work with the Red Cross and at Providence Hospital, whereat in 2003 she logged 1085 hours of volunteer service in one year. At that point Iris was 80 years old. She continued to volunteer at Providence hospital and at Community Centers in Washington DC teaching knitting well into her 80s.
During the last years of her life, Iris lived with her son Vern Best in Arlington, VA. In her spare time, she enjoyed reading the Sunday Newspapers, listening to music, watching her favorite T.V. shows, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Her hobbies continued to be cooking, baking, crocheting and knitting.
Iris was predeceased by her husband and two daughters: Barbara and Yvetta. She leaves to cherish her loving memory her four sons: Calvin Jr., Booker T, Vern and Velasquez. Her grandchildren, Booker T Best, Jr., Jahaira and Gisela Best, Tarisai, Baderinwa and Adebayo Lumumba Umoja, Mandisa and Ayana Best, Urenna and Mawasi Best, and Tracey Barner. She also leaves five great grandchildren: Davion, Tali, Noah, Aiden and Alika. Two daughters in law, Eleonora Best, and Elvia Best, as well as many nephews, nieces, great nephews, and great nieces.
Funeral Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church can be streamed at https://vimeo.com/484204959/338da34dc2
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