JoAnne Jones

October 15, 1932 - September 17, 2017 

JoAnne Jones

October 15, 1932 - September 17, 2017 

Obituary for JoAnne Jones

On September 17th, 2017, JoAnne Jones – beloved mother, wife, sister, aunt, friend and mentor – transcended the bonds of this earth to reunite with her loved ones. Among those waiting to meet her were her beloved husband, Donald L. Jones, along with ‘the sisters,’ Wanda Hall and Ginny Norman, her brothers Wesley, Glenn, Chuckie, and Lyle Samson and her trusted sister-in-law Anna Spann. Left on this earth are her children Julie, Brian, and Bruce Jones, her grandchildren Delaina, Jacob, and Corey Jones along with her extended family in Orem, Utah where her adopted family Terry and Linda Nichols, along with their children, live. She also leaves many others mourning her loss across the southwest and northland states including her cherished friends Grace Kutchar and Shirley Karlee. In all ways, JoAnne lived up to the challenge her mother, Marie Samson, set for her. Marie believed in empowering women to grow beyond their perceived limitations. Marie, who only reached a 7th grade education, wrote letters to JoAnne while Jo was attending North Dakota State University. Marie’s letters were so well crafted that JoAnne, the college student, had to use a dictionary to look up words every week from her mother’s writing. Such was the Samson family; set in the cold of North Dakota farm country but reaching, always, into a brighter and educated future. In 1970, JoAnne took the lead of a youth organization in Tucson, then called Camp Fire Girls. As the executive director of Camp Fire, JoAnne ¬¬set a progressive tone from the start. Early on, she introduced innovative youth programs and fundraising events. She worked doggedly to gain United Way status and outside grant funding for at-risk and empowerment youth programs. In this way, she extended the Camp Fire brand into new avenues while providing key support to struggling communities in Tucson. One of these programs, I Know I Can, was distinguished as a presidential Points of Light award in 1990. Along the way, she inspired her staff to conquer their fears and work beyond their own sense of what was possible. Her impact as a mentor to the women who worked under her leadership is immeasurable. On her personal side, JoAnne was married to Donald Lee Jones for nearly 50 years before his death in 2005. JoAnne knew instantly that Don was the love of her life when she heard him say “Hello,” as her cousin Bonnie opened the door for her date. Unbeknownst to her, JoAnne had caught Don’s eye weeks before in church. Sitting in the balcony, he had looked down at the departing crowd and was stuck by one person leaving. “I have a story,” he thought to himself. “I wonder what her story is.” He was surprised to see the same woman standing before him weeks later as his blind date. They were married in August of 1956 and moved to Tucson a few short years later to join Don’s sister Annie and her husband in the desert of Arizona. From there, they started their careers and their family. In her retirement years, JoAnne served as a member of the Senior Advisory Board at Catalina Methodist Church. There she met many new friends, including Lavon Morgan, as they helped seniors with companionship, meals, and transportation. The Jones family warmly invites you to celebrate JoAnne Jones’ life on December 1st in a number of venues. Church service will begin at 2 p.m. at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway. We encourage JoAnne’s friends to join her family after the services for one last happy hour at Roadhouse Cinemas at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Old Ft. Lowell Live-at-Home program who did so much for JoAnne in her last years.

To honor JoAnne, Memorial Donations may be made to Old Fort Lowell Association Live At Home Program. www.oldfortlowellliveathome.org

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