Iris Inez Wells Whittle passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by her family in Dublin, Ga., on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, after a 10 year battle with dementia. Iris was 71 years of age and was born on Feb. 16, 1946, to Roger and Rosalind Smith Wells at their family farmhouse just outside of Dublin. She grew up one of four children inside a very large extended family. Her family’s history in Dublin dates back to the 19th century. She was the great-granddaughter of Capt. Hardy Smith. A diligent student, she worked at Claxton Hospital during high school and had aspirations to be either a lab technician or a nurse some day. Iris graduated from Dublin High School in spring of 1964 and married Claude “Dale” Whittle in September of that same year at the Marie Baptist Church. After her marriage, she moved to Wichita Falls Texas to be with her husband in the Air Force. Returning to Dublin, she worked for Dr. Kibler and Dr. J. Roy Rowland at the medical center. Iris worked with her husband and saved to support her husband’s return to finish his last year of college at Auburn University. She was a loving wife who had to move many times in support of her husband. She lived in Brunswick, Atlanta, Macon, Vidalia and Milledgeville. Iris worked in churches in each town, teaching Sunday school, vacation bible school and working with youth choirs.
She had a lifelong love for music. She was a member of many choirs and singing groups where she lived. Iris was very active in Women of Georgia Power in all the towns they lived and was president in two different chapters. Iris was also incredibly crafty, and loved working with her beloved sewing machine. She would often make clothes for both herself and her children. She was an avid reader, especially of crime novels and medical books. She took pride at being able to spot where an author was taking a story even before the story was over. But this never stopped or bothered her and only gave her more joy when her instincts were proved right at the end of each book. She heartedly passed on this love of reading to all three of her children. A sweet spirit with a quick wit and fire in both her heart and eyes, she was a gift to all who loved her. Her family loved her very much and was very grateful for her strong faith and the joy she brought them.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Roalind Smith Wells, her father, Roger Lee Wells, and her brother, James Roger Wells. She is survived by her husband Claude Dale Whittle Sr.; her sons Claude (Whit) Dale Whittle Jr. (Teresa), Auburn Brit Whittle (Nissa); her daughter, Rose Lynn Whittle; three grandkids, Josh Whittle (Julianne), Jordan Whittle (Erica) and Lauren Whittle; her sisters, Rosalee Wells Gibson and Gayle Wells Hutto; and her brother Jimmy Wells (Kathy).
The family is very appreciative of Ms. Peggy Green who was her loving caregiver and the Eastman Hospice group. A funeral service will be held at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, near Dexter, Ga., at noon on Oct. 12, 2017. The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Fellowship Hall prior to the funeral. Burial service will be at the Mount Carmel Cemetery.
Pall Bearers are Tommy Butler, Hilton Culpepper, Danny Whittle, Chad Wicker, Josh Whittle and Roger Wells. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Mount Carmel Debt Retirement Fund.