A FORMER West Wight woman, who was once a detective in the Chicago police force, has died after a long illness, aged 96.

Iris Zuzik lived in Bouldnor with husband Bart for 12 years before they moved to York two years ago to be closer to one of their daughters.

Iris grew up in Cardiff, working in an ordnance factory making guns during the Second World War, before becoming a truck driver for the Auxiliary Territorial Service serving in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

She was introduced to, and shook hands with, General Patton, who led the US Third Army in Europe following the Allied Invasion of Normandy.

She married a GI and moved to Chicago where she became a detective, although she said: "I never carried a gun because I was worried if anyone attacked me, and took it from me, others would be in danger."

During her time there, she was approached by the Mafia and asked if she wanted to go on its payroll ­— an offer she declined.

She married Bart in 1966. He was a hospital administrator, and she set up a beauty salon.

In 1979 the couple moved to Wales, starting with a bed and breakfast business and gradually building it up until they had a manor house.

They moved to Bouldnor after daughter Amy settled on the Island, where she was a partner in The George Hotel, Yarmouth and helped revitalise the town's Women's Institute.

Mr and Mrs Zuzik were parishioners of St Saviour's Church, Totland.

Four years ago, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a meal for family and friends at the Holy Family Centre, next to the church.

Iris was buried in the church cemetery.

She is survived by her husband, daughters Jeannie, Debra and Amy, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.