Florence ‘Betty’ Jones
October 16th, 1925 — August 26th, 2013
Florence was surrounded by family and friends when she lost her courageous battle with pneumonia at the Life Care Center of the San Juan’s. Betty, as her friends and family called her, was a 23 year resident of Friday Harbor, Washington. Services will be held Saturday, September 7th at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church at 10:30 A.M. Reception to follow at the church.
Betty grew up and attended schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her hobbies included Photography and skiing. She attended secretarial school in Philadelphia and was later hired by the Industrial Mining & Materials Department at Pennsylvania State University.
She was taking classes at Penn State when she met her future husband, Robert (‘Bob’) Jones. After Bob graduated from college, they married in 1953 and honeymooned in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky & Georgia. They later moved to Southern California where they eventually settled in Westchester, California to raise their four children Gwen, Kevin, Megan and Keith. Betty was the original “Super mom” as she juggled work and managed a busy household while her husband often traveled for work in the aerospace industry. Betty volunteered at her children’s schools, sold Encyclopedia Books door-to-door (breaking sales quotas in her area), headed her daughter’s Brownie and Girl Scout troops and oversaw a menagerie of her children’s exotic pets included among other things dogs, cats, snakes, rats, a squirrel monkey and a baby alligator!
In the early sixties Betty contracted encephalitis and was rendered partiatially disabled but continued to persevere to overcome her deficiencies. She began a long career as a volunteer for her local Red Cross and American Cancer Society chapters and was recognized often with awards for her dedication and commitment. She pursued both water color and oil painting and later won awards for her beautiful works. Betty and Bob later divorced in the mid seventies but continued to jointly raise their children as they both continued to live in Westchester.
In 1991, Betty moved to the San Juan Islands to be closer to her daughter, long-time resident Megan Jones. Many an islander quickly got to know Betty as the woman with the brightest smile and cheerful personality walking briskly through town. She loved to take the beautiful walk from her apartment on Carter Ave into town. Betty quickly got involved in local community organizations such as the Friday Harbor Senior Center and her favorite, the Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church. Sunday morning services were the highlight of her week as she often joined the ladies for brunch afterward.
Betty’s life on the island included attending many annual island celebrations including the annual 4th of July Parade (she always arrived very early to secure her spot in front of the Drug store) and the San Juan Island County Fair. Frequent visits from her daughter Megan were always a treat as Megan often showered Betty with beautiful flower arrangements from her garden and kisses from her dog Jessie. Betty’s other children visited often, Gwen (now deceased) from Carlsbad, California; Kevin from Stockholm, Sweden; and Keith from Culver City, California. Betty was especially enamored with her son Keith’s two children Austin (age 7), Kenny (age 3) and her daughter in-law Debbie (Keith’s wife). All four were able to visit with Betty the week before she passed making their last visit all the more special.
Betty is survived by her three children Kevin Jones of Santa Barbara, California & Stockholm Sweden; Megan Jones of Friday Harbor, Washington; and Keith & Debbie Jones of Culver City, California and her two grandchildren, Austin Furlong Jones and Kenneth Leiker Jones.
Donations can be made to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in memory of Florence ‘Betty’ Jones; P.O. Box 62596; Baltimore, Maryland 21264 or online at www.nami.org/myNAMICause/Memorials/FlorenceBettyJones.
The Jones Family wishes to convey our great appreciation and many thanks to the entire San Juan Island community, Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church & Kids Club and especially the staff at the Life Care Center of the San Juan’s for all the years of joy and comfort you gave our mom. We will always be grateful.