Kathleen “Kathy” Jones, who grew up in Linneus, Missouri, where she married her high school sweetheart and raised four children, passed away Monday, June 29, 2015, surrounded by her family at her home in Blue Springs. She was 80 years old.
Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Kathleen Noland was the only daughter of Harry Morrison Noland, Sr. and Lucille Western Noland. The family, including her older brother, moved to the family farm near Linneus the year Kathy turned 3.
She graduated from Linneus High School as valedictorian in 1952. Later that year, she married her high school sweetheart, George Jones, who helped manage the family business, Jones Transfer and Produce. They raised their four children – one daughter and three sons – in Linneus.
Kathy worked as a Deputy County Clerk for more than 20 years, and served as County Clerk for seven years, after being elected to two terms. In both elections she carried all precincts in Linn County, a reflection of confidence in her ability to manage local elections and advise the county commission regarding budget decisions. She retired in 1997 to travel and to spend more time with family.
In 1999, after living in Linneus for nearly five decades, Kathy and George moved to Blue Springs, Missouri, to be near the Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, and a library for genealogical research on the Noland, Jones and Western families.
In 2012, the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at a party in Lee’s Summit organized by their children. The invitation said: “It’s true – Mom Dad have been married almost as long as Elizabeth II has been Queen of England! And we’re going to celebrate their journey by revisiting the many road trips, family vacations and excursions we’ve shared at their inspiration.” At the Jubilee Party, family and friends saw photographs from a lifetime of travel.
Every summer, Kathy and George, with their four children in tow, would set off on a family vacation to national and state parks in the west, including Yellowstone in Wyoming, and Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Pike’s Peak and the Royal Gorge in Colorado. Over the years, the family visited some national parks nearly two dozen times with children and grandchildren – Yosemite in California, Big Bend in Texas, Crater Lake in Oregon and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They took road trips with friends to historical sites in Missouri. Kathy travelled to England, France, Ireland and Italy, accompanied by family members.
Kathy and George visited at least 17 baseball stadiums during their travels around the country. They first went to Spring Training in Arizona in 1998 and continued to attend for many years.In the summer of 2014, they visited AT&T Park in San Francisco. She was delighted that her favorite team, the Royals, made it to the World Series in 2014.
Kathy enjoyed perusing secondhand and antique stores, always on the lookout for vintage American art pottery vases made in the early 20th century to add to her collection, which she displayed around the family home. She was an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction. Members of her book group said she could be counted on to answer questions about plots, characters and scenes. She was especially fond of biographies of famous people and was a lifelong student of history.
She was 50-year member and past Worthy Matron of Eastern Star, Florence Chapter #124 in Brookfield, and an active member of the philanthropic organization International P.E.O. Sisterhood, Chapter KN, in Blue Springs. She also was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Linneus, and of the First United Methodist Church in Blue Springs.
In addition to her husband George, Kathy is survived by daughter Diana of Columbia, Mo., sons Tom of Blue Springs and Ed (Jerry) of Casper, Wyo., brother Harry Morrison Noland, Jr. of Llano Calif, and cousin Sherry Potter of Topeka, Ks. Son Sam of Columbia passed away in 2013.
She is survived by seven grandchildren: Emily Wallace (Neil) and Eric Jones of Scottsdale, Ariz., Sidney Jones of Durham, N.C. and Adam Jones of Portland, Ore; Hillary Claunch (Jeremy) and Ryland Jones of Columbia; and Chormaic Sullivan of New York, N.Y. She also is survived by three great grandchildren: Quinn and Cole Wallace, and Samuel Claunch; and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 6 at the First United Methodist Church, located at 301 SW Woods Chapel Road in Blue Springs. A visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m., prior to the service.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7, in Elmwood Cemetery in Linneus. Dinner with the family will be held in the Community Betterment Building immediately following the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Bus Fund.