Springfield – Rita Jean Jones, formerly of Palmyra, IL passed away at 12:05 am on Friday, January 7, 2011 from liver complications. She turned 75 on December 20, 2010 and enjoyed her birthday with a family gathering.
She was born in Palmyra on December 20, 1935 the daughter of Lester H. O’Neal and Bertha Loveless whose families farmed the area back to the 1800’s. Both her parents had grandparents and great uncles who were in the Civil War and her mother’s relative was registered with DAR as a Patriot in the Revolution with Edward Richards from Virginia. She married Richard Jones on December 3, 1961 who served in the military for 37 1/2 years and retired as a supervisor from the Air Guard.
Rita graduated from High School in 1953 after straight A’s all four years with the National Honor Society. Her hands were full raising a son after high school and she was involved as a Den Mother for her son in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts ,Y camp and Little League. Her career spanned 20 years with the first years in banking, followed by 10 years with BMA Insurance as Executive Secretary and then 10 years with IEA and the Illinois School Administrators Association as the Executive secretary.
She was preceded in death by her parents in 1983 and her sister Coleen in 2007. Her husband passed away after a battle with cancer in 1994 and she survived breast cancer after his death. Rita was of the Christian faith.
Rita enjoyed dancing in her younger days following her high school cheerleading days.
She became disabled in her late 30’s from Neuropathy so she was an avid reader to fill in the time. Her family enjoyed vacationing around the country as her husband was one of 9 siblings from Montana to Indiana, as well as various overseas vacations with his military job. Her husband was a Shriner, so she belonged to the Ansarettes after her husband’s death and she had many friends of Bill W. for 25 years. She is survived by her son Randall Jones of Springfield and many cousins South of Springfield.
Services are under the direction of Staab Funeral Home where visitation will be held from 2-4pm, Saturday, January 15, 2010 with a memorial service at 4pm. Pastor Charles Lee will be officiating. A private burial will be at a later at Camp Butler National Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
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