Born June 9th in Alabama, Iris lived most of her life in the Keystone Heights area. She attended local schools and worked summer vacations at restaurants locally. One of her first jobs was at the Old Keystone Inn that sat across City Hall. At that time, the Inn was a focal point for many of the social and civic events frequently held in town.
It was at a job at Mitchell's restaurant that Iris met Edwin Bennett, the man who would become her husband. After graduating from high school, she and Edwin were steady dating and as he was preparing to join the army, he asked her to marry him. They were married on July 4th 1952 in Kingsland, Ga., during his 4th of July pass. During Edwin's time in the army, they lived at Fort Devens in Ayer, MA, then Edwin served 2 years in Korea and Japan until his discharge from the army in January 1955. Upon his discharge from the army, they lived in Gainesville, then Chicago to return to Keystone Heights upon his school graduation.
Iris held many jobs before and while married to Edwin. First for Southern Bell in Gainesville FL, then for New England Bell while in MA. When returning to Florida, she again worked for Southern Bell, to eventually have a career at Clay Electric for 32 years, where she held jobs in the billing department to retire as a receptionist for the operations department.
Iris is currently member of The United Methodist Women Club and is involved in many church activities. During her years in Keystone Heights, Iris has been active at many levels. First, she was a member of Inter Wheel, which was a club for wives of Rotarians before women could be members of The Rotary Club. As an avid gardener, her passion, she says, she served at The Garden Club of The Lakes, where she won top honors in some of the Garden Club Shows.
Another passion of hers is fitness. Iris has been a member of Genesis Fitness since opening in 2001 where she keeps a consistent schedule for fitness. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are her regular days and she even shows up most Saturdays. She has enjoyed yoga for the eight years it has been offered at the gym. "I have been fortunate to be healthy and try to do all I can to keep it that way", she says.