April 12, 1927 – April 4, 2022 (age 94)
Iris Keresztes, beloved mother, wife, grandmother, and friend, died peacefully at the age of 94 in her home in Cornwall, NY on April 4, 2022.
Iris Violeta Cordero Ravelo was born to Carmen Ravelo and Federico Cordero in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on April 12, 1927. Her father was a Cobbler from Spain and her mother was a homemaker whose family roots were in the Caribbean. Iris was very close with her family.
Iris met her husband Vilmos Keresztes, a World War II refugee from Budapest, Hungary who had moved to the Dominican Republic for work. She helped him learn Spanish during their courtship. They married and had two daughters named after their mothers: Anna and Carmen. Iris owned a clothing boutique in Santo Domingo while Vilmos worked as a Jeweler and Watchmaker. They made the difficult decision to leave the Dominican Republic and immigrate to New York City, in search of better economic prospects and a brighter future for their children, and initially settled in the Bronx, where their third child, Vilmos Keresztes, Jr., was born.
Iris and Vilmos worked hard to learn English. She dreamed of getting out of the city, and one day, her husband told her to close her eyes and point anywhere on a map. Her finger landed on Waldwick, NJ, a tranquil town within commuting distance of Manhattan, where her husband worked as a Manager at Marty Forscher’s Professional Camera Repair.
Iris was a gifted gardener and cook. She cultivated beautiful peonies and other plants, and together with her husband, filled their home with the aromas of Dominican, Hungarian, and other delicious dishes. She worked at Sealfon’s department store in Paramus, and excelled in helping women find stylish, flattering outfits. Iris was known to dress impeccably every day, and loved to buy clothes for her family members. A doting mother and grandmother, Iris delighted in hosting her grandchildren for Christmas, where she showered them with gifts. Her grandchildren have fond memories of her constant enthusiasm and passionate involvement in their lives. When Vilmos Sr. had a stroke, they sold their house and moved to Idlewild Creek in Cornwall, where she cared for him with their daughter Carmen, never leaving his side until his death in 2005.
Iris was a quiet, private person who had many interests. She was a lover of poetry in the Spanish language and an avid reader, especially of historical biographies. She was a devoted tennis fan who never missed one of Rafael Nadal’s matches, and her favorite show was Jeopardy! Iris was also a music lover who lit up when hearing her favorite songs by Julio Iglesias, Mercedes Sosa, Michael Jackson, Selena, and Wayne Newton. She was proud to be an American Citizen and deeply loved her chosen country.
Iris is survived by her adoring children: Anna Fernandez, Carmen Kerr and her husband James Kerr, and Vilmos Keresztes, Jr. and his wife Debbie Keresztes; and grandchildren: Erik Heh, Kristen Heh, Tomás Kerr and his partner Emma Dombkowski, Olivia Kerr and her partner Mark Lasar, Julia Kerr and her partner Noah Barnes, Tiffany Henriksen, Amy Keresztes and her husband Matthew Waxman, and Julie Keresztes. Iris touched the lives of many and has remained in contact over the years with former colleagues, caregivers, and neighbors who will miss her terribly.
In her final years she received loving care every day by her devoted daughter Carmen and nurse Editha Ayongao. Her presence is indelible and she will live on forever in the memories of her loved ones.
Arrangements are entrusted to Quigley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Inc.; to send condolences, please go to http://www.Quigleybros.com