Iris Lenella Nicolaisen, 92, passed away peacefully at home on October 6, 2021 with family by her side.
Born February 5, 1929 and raised in Davis Creek, West Virginia. She graduated from high school with high marks, and later attended college, focusing on Women’s Studies, while raising three spirited daughters. She worked as a computer operator in the office of Social Security for over 25 years before retiring. She always provided love and support for her family.
Beloved mother of Susan Vanderhoff of Frederick, MD, Diana Harbaugh and her husband, Dan, of Littlestown, PA, and Sandra Gamble and her husband, Chuck, of Finksburg, MD. Cherished sister of Mary Martinez of San Francisco, and Norris Goff and his wife, Nancy, of Virginia. Proud grandmother of Rachael, Heather and her husband, Francisco, Ashley and her husband, Josh, Jessica, Jenna, Pam and her husband, Danny, Liz and Nate, and doting great-grandmother of Morgan, Seth, Clara, Ivy, Vera, Benjamin, Eva, and Lucia.
She was reunited in Heaven with her beloved parents, Bert and Bertie Goff; and her eleven siblings; her very best friend and sister-in-law, Barbara, and her sweet grandchildren, Ronnie, Tracey, and Joseph.
Iris loved God. She loved bird watching and flowers, and enjoyed walking outdoors - especially in San Francisco with her sister and best friend Mary. She enjoyed working puzzles and doing things with her family. Her faith brought her a beloved community and peace in her heart. She was a superb baker of apple pies and biscuits, and a lover of fried green tomatoes, fried apples, and catfish. She could make a delicious plate of dippy eggs upon the request of her grandchildren. Iris’ greatest love was her family. She treasured her children and all her grand and great-grandchildren and enjoyed every moment with them, whether on camping adventures, at giant family pig roasts, or gathered around the Thanksgiving table. She was blessed to have not one, but two sister-friends, Barbara and Mary, and with each she enjoyed the kind of kindred-spirit, soulmate-bonded friendship that rarely comes along once in a lifetime, let alone twice.
She taught her daughters to survive, and thrive, with grace and optimism despite life’s trials. The pandemic brought new trials, yet also new adventures. When quarantine began, Iris was staying with her sister Mary in San Francisco. She spent part of her final year on earth riding cross-country in an RV with two of her daughters to avoid flying home to Maryland. Being unable to attend Convention in-person this year, she adapted to digital life by dialing-in to listen to the live sermons. As ever, Iris was a model of grace, perseverance, resilience, and strength. She spent her final days looking at photos of a full, well-lived life, and recalled many years of church conventions. She laughed at vacation photos of her with her feet in the waves in Hawai’i and in the waterfalls in Jamaica, and remembered so many happy Easter and Christmas gatherings. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
Please join the family for a memorial service at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 16th at the Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD 21702. All are welcome to visit with the family a half hour before the service and immediately following services at Pinecliff Park, Pavillion 2, 8350 Pinecliff Park Rd., Frederick MD 21704.
REPLAY of the funeral service will be provided via link as soon as possible.