|Birth:||28 August 1905|
Aneta, North Dakota, USA
|Death:||3 January 2021|
Northwood, North Dakota, USA
|Age:||115 years, 128 days|
Iris C. Westman (28 August 1905 – 3 January 2021) was an American supercentenarian who, at the time of her death, was the second-oldest living person in the United States whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), behind Hester Ford. At 115 years, 128 days, Westman holds the record as the longest-lived person ever documented from the US state of North Dakota.
Iris Westman was born in Aneta, North Dakota, USA on 28 August 1905 to Nicholas Westman and Mathilda Erickson. She had three brothers and was the only daughter in her family to survive to adulthood, as her two sisters died as children. Westman recalls helping her mother knit for the troops during the First World War.
Westman graduated from Aneta High School in 1923, and then graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1928. She was an English teacher in both Aneta and Hillsboro, North Dakota, before moving to Minnesota. In the 1940s, she spent two summers at the University of Minnesota to earn a Master of Library Sciences degree. She became a librarian in Worthington, Minnesota, where she also sang in the First Lutheran Church choir.
Westman never married or had children. She retired from being a librarian in 1972, and returned to North Dakota in 1990. At the age of 106, she suffered a bad fall and underwent hip replacement surgery. She subsequently moved in to a nursing home in Northwood, North Dakota, about 25 miles from the farm she grew up on. As of 2018, she still owned and rented out some of the farmland.
At the time of her 113th birthday, Westman was still able to get around with the help of a walker and was reportedly in good health. In 2020, Westman's 115th birthday was celebrated with a drive-by parade outside her nursing home; visitors were forced to keep at a distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She died on 3 January 2021 at the age of 115 years, 128 days.
It is not clear when Westman became the oldest living person in North Dakota, but it is believed to have been before she turned 110. On 29 October 2016, Westman officially became the oldest person ever recorded from North Dakota after surpassing the previous record of 111 years, 61 days set by Mary Schumacher.
At the time of her death, Westman was the second-oldest living person in the United States and the seventh-oldest living person in the world (whose age has been validated by the GRG). In 2020, she entered the top-20 oldest validated Americans, as well as the worldwide top-50 oldest validated people, of all-time.
- Iris Westman, 114 Photo Gallery, Gerontology Research Group
- Iris is 108 Griggs Dakota, 28 August 2013 (via The Wayback Machine)
- ND's oldest, Iris Westman, turns 111 WDAY6, 26 August 2016 (via The Wayback Machine)
- 112-year-old shares birthday memories West Fargo Pioneer, 4 September 2017
- 'I still have a farm. Yeah, I am a farmer!' says 113-year-old North Dakota woman Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 2018
- Iris Westman, a 113 year-old educator and farmer Agweek, 30 August 2018
- Alumni focus: The oldest North Dakotan, Iris Westman ’28 is still learning UND Today, 11 December 2019
- Iris Westman points to God for her 115 years Grand Forks Herald, 25 August 2020
- A love of learning that never grows old UND Today, 27 August 2020
- 115TH Birthday In Northwood, ND Friday For 2nd Oldest Living American iNewZ TV on YouTube, 28 August 2020
- Iris Westman Iverson - Kassian Funeral Services
- North Dakota's oldest resident Iris Westman dies at age 115 Grand Forks Herald, 4 January 2021