Iris Selma Rozencwajg Stockbridge
December 7, 1943 – August 29, 2018
After a long illness, Iris Rozencwajg Stockbridge died August 29, 2018 at the age of 74. She was born on December 7, 1943 in New York to Rubin and Olga Rozencwajg and grew up in Aruba. She married Christopher Stockbridge, who predeceased her in 1987. A lifelong learner, she graduated from Barnard, Hunter, CUNY, and Vermont College and was a published writer. A lifelong teacher, Dr. Rozencwajg was a professor of English at Houston Community College from 1997 until her retirement in 2014. A devout Christian, her last church was the Catholic Newman Center at Rice University. Her intelligence, wit, creativity, and wisdom will be missed by her son Max, daughter-in-law Missy, grandchildren Hudson and Madison, cousin Jack (husband Chepo), second cousin David (wife Corinne and children Aviva and Micah), cousin-in-law Dianna, other family, many, many friends, colleagues, students, and caregivers. A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 6th from 2-3pm at the Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon St, Houston, TX 77006. The chapel does not allow flowers. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to World Vision or Doctors Without Borders.
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 6, 2018
Iris Selma Rozencwajg Stockbridge
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Scott, Penny, Jennifer, Rebekah Robinson
October 6, 2018
We met the three Stockbridges as we and they came to Houston in 1986-87 and joined the same church, Church in the City. We adjusted to this new place together, but suddenly had to mourn with Iris and Max as they laid Chris Stockbridge to rest after only a year here. After that, we shared Christmas together each year until Max had graduated high school, and those were times we all looked forward to!
Iris studied Scripture daily and knew it deeply and intimately. She was a prayer warrior while at the same time being a college professor and single mom. She strongly believed in prayer and really prayed for people when she promised to. Many times she handed one or the other of us an encouraging note with a message God had given her for us - and they always met the need. If they were encouragements about the future, they turned out true. We still have many of those notes around the house, and they encourage us still today.
She was a consummate hostess and conversationalist and cared about everyone. She brought together all kinds of people at her amazing home, and it didn’t matter who was in the room; she conversed with truck drivers and symphony conductors, with business leaders, doctors and construction helpers, warmly engaging them in animated conversation about their interests and concerns. We felt out of place with such accomplished people but Iris never made us feel that way. On the contrary, she hung her academic diplomas in the kitchen broom closet above the trash can.
She really loved and protected Max. She encouraged all his interests, including baseball and World Wrestling Federation which to our amazement she totally accepted (she saw it was simply a modern morality play)! She wrestled with how to inspire her students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and prayed for them.
We have missed our talks with her over the years, and look forward to seeing Iris again. She is now with unveiled face beholding the glory of her Lord forever.
October 5, 2018
Iris was my sister-in-law. Having both lost husbands when our children were young, we had a common bond that cemented into a transatlantic friendship that grew over the years as we got to know each other. My daughter Lydia loves literature and so was delighted as Iris would send her interesting and entertaining cards and letters. We only met a few times but I will always remember her generosity of spirit, her kindness in welcoming Lydia and I into her home and treated as honoured guests at her son Max and Missy’s wedding celebrations. Her vibrant and embracing nature drew us together as family participants in what was a beautiful weekend.
I feel her loss as Lydia does, the emptiness of no more letters, no more heartfelt lively conversations, but we will cherish those happy times and memories of a lovely, charming, warm friend and relative.