Mary Jane's Story
Mary Jane Farley Jones, loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and teacher, died peacefully January 6, 2018, on the morning of the feast of Epiphany, at Burcham Hills Retirement Center, East Lansing, Michigan.
A memorial service will be held at a later date at St. John the Divine, Champaign, Ill., and St. John's Episcopal Church, Decatur, Ill.
Mary was born November 16, 1926, in St. Louis, Mo., the oldest of three daughters, to Dr. Erl Edward Farley and Leah (Gerhardt) Farley.
Mary graduated from Soldan High school, St. Louis, and received her Bachelor of Music Education from Millikin University, where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Sigma Alpha Iota honorary music fraternity. After graduation from Millikin in 1949, she entered graduate studies in organ at The Westminster Choir College of Ryder University, Princeton, N.J. She served as organist and choir director at Trinity Episcopal Church, Melrose, Mass., and at St. John's Episcopal Church in Decatur, Ill.
On a blind date arranged by friends in Decatur, she met the man who would be her husband for 62 years, Dr. James David Jones. They married on April 30, 1955, at St. John's.
Mary taught music in the public schools in Decatur, and later taught kindergarten in South Pasadena, Calif., while Jim was in medical school. Her calling was to teach and be an advocate for music. She taught piano to many students in Danville, Ill., where she and Jim raised their family.
Mary was an active member of the National Music Teacher's Association, American Guild of Organists, the Royal School of Church Music, Danville's Symphony Board and was a charter member of the Danville Symphony Guild.
Preceded in death by her beloved husband Jim (July 2017); her parents; sister Betty (Arthur) Ploeger; and niece Joanna Ploeger.
She is survived by her daughters, Beth (David) Grimshaw and Margaret Jones (Phillip Schroeder); three grandchildren, Benjamin (Morgan) Grimshaw, Ashley (Daniel) Lindquist and Kelsey Grimshaw; two great-grandchildren, William and James David Linquist; and her youngest sister, Lois Farley (Robert) Shuford.
She loved books of spiritual insight, classical music, holidays (especially Christmas) and her collection of angels. She never forgot a birthday or an anniversary. Her family, the gift of music and love of God anchored and inspired her life.
Memorials in her name may be sent to: The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation or to the Music Department of Millikin University, Patron's Society.
Published on February 2, 2018