Iris Fernandini, affectionately known as “Ms. Iris”, age 76, of Wilmington, DE was born in Yauco, PR on August 14, 1946. Surrounded by family, Ms. Iris went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.
Up to her passing, Ms. Iris worked at Kentmere Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center for over 22 years. She cared deeply for the residents there and was known for being a hard worker and having a kind heart.
A loving mother and the family matriarch, Ms. Iris was a remarkable cook and enjoyed preparing meals for her family and friends, particularly over the holidays. Family loved gathering at her home to enjoy her arroz con gandules and delicious pasteles. Ms. Iris knew no strangers and opened her heart and home to all. She was quick to help neighbors and always had an extra plate of food. She enjoyed gardening and loved flowers. Her green thumb was apparent when you saw her well-tended, colorful garden that bloomed beautifully each year.
Above all, Ms. Iris’s greatest love was for her family, most especially her children and grandchildren. She was predeceased by her lifelong companion, Rene Caraballo, her daughter, Carmen Rodriguez, and stepson, Rene Jr.
Her beautiful life will forever be cherished in the lives of her children: Hector, Ivan & Melvin Caraballo, Wanda Caraballo; husband Jesus, Carmelo Rodriguez; wife Lilliam, Manuel Rodriguez, Miriam Caraballo; fiancé Frank and stepdaughter, Carmen. Her grandson, who she lovingly considered a son, Carmelo Rodriguez, Jr. (Carmelito) and his longtime girlfriend, Linda. 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. A host of nieces and nephews and the countless friends, co-workers, and lives Ms. Iris has touched throughout her life.
A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday January 25, at 12pm in St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 4th and Jackson Sts. in Wilmington. Family and friends are invited to visitation prior to Mass starting at 10am also being held in St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Ms. Iris will be returning home to Puerto Rico for additional services and to be buried.