Iris Tennant Barton was born September 30, 1925, in American Falls, ID, to Joseph McCauslin and Appie Spillsbury Harmon Tennant.
Iris passed away at her home in Monticello, UT on May 20, 2018, surrounded by her husband and children.
Iris and her twin, Inez, were the youngest of eight children: Dorothy (Ron) Walker, Max (Ruth) Tennant, Marion (Leland) Hugentobler, Gladys (Harry) Darrington, Charles (Louise) Tennant, Betty (Ed) Gallacher, and Inez (Richard) Swensen.
They spent their childhood on farms in Aberdeen and Declo, ID. They enjoyed swimming in the canals, being with each other, and making up their own entertainment.
Early life on the farm taught Iris the value of hard work. Life during the Depression taught frugality, doing without, making do, and finding happiness in simple things.
1938 brought great sorrow and changes to Iris’s life. Her beloved mother died unexpectedly due to surgical complications. Later that year, her home burned down. Iris had to grow up quickly.
Her teens were spent working to support herself. Siblings became parents to her and her twin sister. Circumstances caused Iris and Inez to attend four different high schools, as they move in with various family members.
Her mother’s sister, Aunt Mabel and Uncle Floyd Anderson, in Berkely, CA, took the twins in during their junior year. That was 1941, the year Pearl Harbor was bombed.
She graduated from Jerome Idaho High School in 1943. Jobs were plentiful due to WWII, and she became a teller for First Security Bank. She and Inez rented an apartment and were totally on their own at 17.
Iris attended college in Pocatello, ID for one year. She transferred to Brigham Young University with Inez and Betty. In 1946, both sisters married and Iris was left alone.
She worked her way through college, paying all her expenses herself—something she took great pride in. She graduated in 1949 with a B.S. in secretarial practice with a secondary Teaching Certificate. She took a job teaching Business at Monticello High School that fall.
Iris met Joseph Francis Barton at a Halloween costume party. She was the judge, and he won the prize of a box of chocolates that he shared with her. They were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 21, 1950.
Francis and Iris lived their early married life at the Barton family ranch in Verdure, UT. There, they welcomed four children: Bonnie, Judy, Stephen, and Charley.
In 1959, Frances and Iris built a home in Monticello. They were closer to school, friends, and activities. In 1967, Kitty was born, completing the family.
Iris was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in teaching and leadership callings in the Relief Society and Primary for most of her life. She enjoyed singing in the ward choir for many years.
Iris loved to read. She read for all reasons and enjoyed all types of literature, but biographies of her pioneer ancestors and anything history related were her favorites.
Iris joined the local book clubs and thoroughly relished the time spent with the members. She worked with her hands, sewing, crocheting, embroidering, quilt making, and gardening. Iris took great pride in her yard and liked to preserve the vegetables and fruits to feed to her family.
Traveling was something Iris always liked to participate in. She and Judy had great adventures together. Iris would go with family, Senior Citizens, and the Daughters of Utah Pioneers to many interesting places. She always got a souvenir to remind her of where she had been.
Iris will be forever loved by her husband, Francis; children, Bonnie (John) Roberts, Judy Barton (deceased), Stephen (Debra) Barton, Charles Barton, Kitty (Jeff) Young, 19 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren with two on the way. She is also survived by a sister, Betty Gallacher, and sister-in-law Louise Tennant.
Services were held May 24, 2018 in Monticello, UT. Interment in the Monticello City Cemetery.
Card of thanks
The family of Iris Tennant Barton would like to thank everyone in the community for all your kindnesses, thoughts, and prayers for our family at the passing of Mom.
A special thanks to Coby Christensen, Delphine Tree, and the whole Zion’s Way Hospice Team for your tender care of our wife and mother.
Bonnie Roberts Family
Stephen Barton Family
Charles Barton Family
Kitty Young Family