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Obituary of Iris M. Schmalenberger
Iris Schmalenberger, 88, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 24 in Rockledge with her family and friends at her side. A woman of many talents, Iris came to Central Brevard in 1959. She raised her family here and was active in the community. A talented decorator, she owned an interior design studio, The Lemon Tree, for many years. Her creative spirit further inspired her as a warm and gracious hostess and a renowned cook. Once in Cocoa, sailing and power boating became a passion of the family. Whether cruising in the Bahamas or on the Indian River these were times of great fun with family and friends. When life traits are tallied up, Iris would have scored at the top. She was extraordinarily generous with her hospitality, time and treasures. She never met a stranger, and her endearing life-long quality was kindness. She was a loyal and thoughtful friend. Whenever your birthday or a life event came along, you could depend on a card or call from Iris. Iris’ late husband, Jack Schmalenberger, was a pilot and they spent many happy times in the Bahamas. She loved those days and would always remind you of her heritage that had started in the northern Bahamas, settled by loyalists from the Revolutionary War, and then spread to the early settlers of Key West. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, she grew up loving all things “Florida” – especially guavas. If you were particularly lucky, you would be gifted with some of her famous guava jelly. She attended the University of Florida, another “Florida” favorite was following her beloved Gators during football season. Iris is survived by her two children: Richard I. Olmstead, Jr. and wife Barbara, and Lynn Olmstead Austin and husband Neal, all of Rockledge, sister Linda M. Varn of Broomfield, CO. Services for Iris will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cocoa on Friday, October 27 at 4:30 PM. Iris was never without the company of a kitty or two, so in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to her favorite charity: the Brevard Humane Society 1020 Cox Road, Cocoa, Florida 32926.