Iris Patricia Halmos, 83, died Saturday, May 9th at her home surrounded by her family, after a brief but courageous battle with lung cancer.
Born March 24, 1937 in Balbriggan, Ireland, Iris was the daughter of the late Michael and Elisabeth Eustace. She was preceded in death by her sister Geraldine Corrigan, who was killed by IRA terrorists as a young woman.
Iris trained as a nurse in Belfast, Northern Ireland and later became a midwife. She was active in the Northern Ireland Nurse’s Association and was elected their representative to the United Kingdom. In this role, she was hosted by the Queen and Princess Margaret at a Buckingham Palace garden party.
She met and married her husband, Dr. Peter Halmos in 1962. After immigrating to the United States, she was a homemaker, looking after two young children, but also worked night shift at WVU Hospital. She continued this dual role in Cumberland, Md, working as an RN in Memorial Hospital’s Ob/Gyn unit.
Iris was a dedicated community volunteer throughout her life. She was the parish nurse at St. Patrick’s Church, and a board member of Family Crisis Resource Center, where she helped organize the very successful “Dancing with The Local Stars” fundraisers. She was a member and supporter of the Memorial Hospital Medical Auxiliary and she played an active role in the Alliance to the Allegany County Medical Society. Iris was an ardent admirer of the arts and funded a music scholarship program, which carries her name, through the Frostburg University Foundation. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the Cumberland Theatre and local museums and artists. Her generosity will live on due to the Iris and Peter Halmos Community Fund under the umbrella of the Community Trust Foundation.
An avid reader, Iris belonged to Frostburg Library’s Book Club and became founding president of the Friends of the Washington Street Library. Other interests included gardening, cooking and playing quiz games; she excelled in all three. Iris took pride in her “number one ranking in the world” in British Literature on Quiz Up. She enjoyed painting and made lots of friends at her Friday knitting group.
She contributed generously to many local nonprofits. Her support of the Cumberland YMCA and Allegany College has been acknowledged with the naming of the YMCA Youth Center and ACM Community Room.
Her family and friends much admired her caustic humor, strong loyalty, plain speaking and unwavering support of those less fortunate.
She is survived by her husband, Peter Halmos; daughters, Nicole and Siobhan Halmos; and daughter-in-law, Beth McLean; as well as two grand-dogs, Pippa and Jessie. She is also survived by many loved cousins, nieces and nephews in Ireland.
In accordance with her wishes, her body was cremated.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Cumberland, on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 11 a.m. Attendees will be required to wear a mask.