From a very young age her remarkable singing voice was apparent. When she was four and I was six (and we could have been younger), we sang regularly for our church congregation, impromptu, at the bidding of our pastor, Rev. Cave. While we were living in Washington DC from around 1945 to 1951 or 52, we both received music lessons, but after that Iris went on alone with her musical interest and career.
When she was a popular singer in the DC area during the ’60’s and ’70’s, she used the name, Iris Carole. It was her way of keeping me in the act, she said. She had married by that time and had the surname, Dalgliesh, which wasn’t very easy to remember, much less pronounce! So a stage name seemed reasonable.
Iris had three children, Michael Jay, Allison, and Leslie. Those years were difficult for Iris since she took care of her children by day, sang many evenings and sometimes sold "Parents" magazine to make ends meet. She was so personable and instantly well-liked, she excelled in sales of all kinds.
Her husband was Canadian and in the ’70’s they relocated to Toronto, but subsequently were divorced. With her knowledge from a previous job with a Washington DC magazine, she obtained a position as editor of the Toronto advertising sales section of a prominent Ontario magazine, where she again excelled.
Around this time she met Robert Parker, her second husband. They were married in the early ’80’s. After her marriage, she augmented their income by having a day care business in their home. She was delightful with children and took a very personal interest in each one. These were very happy years. Her children were grown and becoming self-sufficient adults, and Bob, her husband, was not only a brilliant physicist but also had the soul of a saint. Unfortunately, he passed away as the result of a brain tumor in 1989 at the age of 61.
Iris was devastated. After a few months of depression, but with the help of therapy, she pulled out of it and enrolled in nursing school. She had days, though, when she would miss classes and opt to quit. She told me her teachers would call and talk her out of it. They told her of her potential and were impressed with her ability. She graduated on time with very high grades.
Her favorite and longest lasting nursing job was as a companion to an elderly diabetic lady who wintered in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. They had the same birthdate, March 4th, and were very happy in each other’s company. During one of these winters in Florida, Iris met Jim Radcliffe, and when her patient needed more extensive care than Iris could provide, Jim and Iris were married and moved to Knoxville, TN. They lived a quiet, pleasant life with their main social interest being the Elk’s Club, where Iris took a very active role.
But, nothing lasts forever, and on May 22, 2000, Iris had a stroke that left her wheelchair-bound and paralyzed on her left side. She went to San Diego to live with her daughter, Allison, and her husband who were better able to care for her. She passed over on May 8, 2002 around 9:15 p.m. at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, CA.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, Jay and Lucy Dalgliesh, Allison and Harry Bielby, Leslie and Richard AuCoin and three grandchildren, Scott, Ryan and Adam AuCoin, the sons of Leslie and Richard of Baltimore, MD, three sisters, Carole Devine, Barbara Baney and her husband, Henry, and Ruth Maniscarco, and her mother, Carrie Bailey. I might add that Richard (Rick) came to San Diego during the last weeks and stood vigil in the hospital all his waking hours with his mother-in-law.
Iris’ ashes were brought to Baltimore, and a service was held on May 26, 2002. the Eulogy, presented by Peter Buckley, Robert Parker’s best friend, is elsewhere on this site.