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Iris Elizabeth Alford




AAFA #0729





Iris Alford at AAFA’s 1995 Meeting in Decatur, AL



Columbus, Muscogee Co., GA—Friday, 21 May 2010




Iris Elizabeth Alford November 6, 1927 - May 4, 2010


NEW CANAAN, CT— Iris Elizabeth Alford, devoted mother, grandmother, and lifetime student of American history died on May 4th in New Canaan, Connecticut from cancer. She was 82 years old.

             Born on November 6, 1927 in Manchester, Georgia, Ms. Alford was the daughter of William Jefferson and Clara Lee Alford. The co-valedictorian of the Manchester High School class of 1944, she moved to Atlanta, where she graduated from the Marsh Business College and went to work for the American Red Cross, participating in the relief response to the 1947 Texas City explosion in Galveston, Texas. Ms. Alford later worked as an Executive Assistant for Rostenberg-Doern in White Plains, New York and Cheseborough-Ponds/Unilever in Greenwich, Connecticut.

            Married to Harold E Masback, Jr. of New York in 1948, Ms. Alford had three children, Harold Elmer Masback, III of New Canaan, Craig Alford Masback, of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and Keith James Masback of Alexandria, Virginia. Her marriage ended in a divorce in 1999.

            Ms. Alford was a member of the Scarsdale Community Baptist Church in Scarsdale, New York for over fifty years. She served the church as a Sunday School teacher in the 1960s and as a deacon in the 1970s. At age 67, Ms. Alford enrolled as a freshman at Kennesaw State College in Kennesaw, Georgia, working toward a degree in history. Award winning filmmaker Bud Greenspan told the story of her long-delayed pursuit of a college degree alongside the stories of Joe Paterno, Andrew Young, Eartha Kitt, in "Ageless Heroes," a PBS special that aired in 1998. She pursued her interest in history via research concerning the Alford family and family visits to the birthplaces of American Presidents. Her special interest was the role played by the mothers of American Presidents in their development.

            Ms. Alford is survived by her three sons, two daughters-in-law, Amy Masback and Sarah Vogelsberg, and seven grandchildren: Owen Masback of Los Angeles, California, Katrina Masback, of New York, New York, Elisabeth Masback of New Canaan, James and Clara Masback of Alexandria, Virginia, and Grace and Britton Masback of Amsterdam.

            A memorial service will be held at the Northside Baptist Church in Manchester, Georgia on May 22 at 10 a.m. The family has established an "Iris Alford Scholarship for Excellence in the Study of American History" at Manchester High School. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to that fund c/o Manchester High School, 405 North 5th Avenue, Manchester, Georgia, 31816-1398.


AAFA NOTES: SSDI records do not (yet?) list her death. (As of June 1, other May 4 deaths are recorded in SSDI.)

            Her sons are also AAFA members: Harold Elmer Masback #0730; Craig Alford Masback, #0731; and Keith James Masback #0732.

            Iris’s great-grandfather Thomas Jefferson Alford had 12 children; 10 were daughters, and of his two sons, only Iris’s grandfather, John Jefferson, had known children.

            For more information on this family, see AAFA’s published genealogy, Known Descendants of Isham Alford, b. 1755 NC, and Anne Ferrell.

            Her lineage: Iris Elizabeth 1927 GA1, William Jefferson 1883 GA2, John Jefferson 1856 GA3, Thomas Jefferson 1814 GA4, Brittain Washington 1782 NC5, Isham 1755 NC6.