September 12, 2020
Mona Jones has been a longtime figure in Lee’s Summit.
She was born on Sept 17, 1930 on her parent’s farmhouse side porch in Atherton, Missouri and was the youngest of nine Van Tuyl children. As a teenager she worked in the potato fields alongside POWs from Germany and Italy. Her straw hat and photos from that time now reside in the Lee’s Summit History Museum along with other family memorabilia. She worked as a nanny one summer for a family on the Plaza and later went on to attend Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa where she studied Home Economics in a two year program.
During that time she met her husband, James Jones on a blind date shortly after he had returned from serving in the Air Force in Japan. James and Mona Jones were married in 1950 and started their life together in Independence, had their first child, James S., and later moved to Lee’s Summit in 1954 and raised a family of 6 children (5 boys then a girl). Mona has been a housewife, waitress at Waid’s, then a bus and classroom assistant at Lakeview Woods State School for the Handicapped until she retired.
Family vacations were well planned by Mona who carefully navigated with maps where each trip focused on nature and education as they drove and tent camped at National Parks.
While making innumerable friendships; service, hospitality and volunteerism has been the family motto. Some of Mona’s involvements with her husband include 50+ years of Boy Scout leadership (including starting the first handicap Cub Scout pack), volunteers for Friends of Missouri Town 1855 events, cooks for many summer camps and Bank of LS Customer Appreciation Cookouts, helping with her local Community of Christ church and with Special Olympics since the 1970’s.
Due to her fifth son being born with Down’s Syndrome, Mona decided to be trained in Montessori which she used as a volunteer at the State School for the Handicapped. She was also the neighborhood fundraiser for Easter Seals, March of Dimes, Jaycees, Jackson County Association for Retarded Citizens and Special Olympics. Most recently she has volunteered with the Coldwater food pantry.
Many neighbors and friends talk about Mona’s sourdough bread, holiday tea rings and homemade cookies that she would freely share. Today she has given up bread making but can still throw a batch of cookies together. Her creativity in entering crafting contests, making prize winning Halloween costumes, baking animal shaped birthday cakes, making items for church bazaars, cub scouts and bible school activities as well as decorations are unmatched!
Since Mona’s husband, Jim, passed away in Sept 2018, Mona has continued on with a positive attitude and is the unofficial photographer and historian for her senior living complex. Mona has claimed, “I’m going to live to 102, because I still have things to get organized before I go!”
The Joneses have never been rich with things but have been very wealthy in relationships and in the legacy of their children. All of Mona’s children & their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren follow in her footsteps with shared values and service to their communities. Her legacy consists of educators, artists, people of service, world travelers and open minded thinkers.
Because of the pandemic, family and friends will be sending cards and making contact over the month. If you know Mona and would like to send a card, please mail it to:
c/o Community of Christ
1101 NE Independence Ave
Lee’s Summit, MO 64086