Pearl Katherine Jones May 26, 1915 – May 13, 2011
Pearl Katherina Jones was born in North Dakota May 26, 1915, the sixth of seven children, to Charles and Katherina Porter. The family moved back to Iowa when she was small and then back to North Dakota where she started school. There were many moves during her young life, always ending up back in the Atlantic/Cumberland/Reno area until they ended up on a farm outside Lamoni where she and her sister, Ruby, walked to high school with the boy from across the road, Wesley Jones, who would become the love of her life. Pearl and Wes were married in Bethany, Missouri August 8, 1932 in a double ceremony with her brother, Charles, and his bride, Kathryn. Their son, Wesley, Jr., was born a year later and when he was three, they moved to a farm southwest of Lamoni where they spent the next 63 years. Both Wanda Fern and Norma Lee were born there, as well as Neoma, who died in infancy.
Pearl was a loving wife and mother and, like all farmwives, was very involved with all aspects of farm life which included a large garden and canning most of the fruits and vegetables the family ate all year long. Her Christian faith was an integral part of her life and she was always involved in her church whether it was at Caledonia, the Mount Ayr Free Methodist or her final church home at Kellerton Assembly of God.
After Norma Lee moved away, Wes started working at the Lamoni Sale Barn on sale days. Eventually, Pearl got tired of being alone on Thursdays (they were always together!) so she became a waitress/cashier at the sale barn on sale days also. They enjoyed camping with the Ringgold Campers for many years and loved taking their grandchildren with them.
They also spent several winter vacations in the Florida Keys camping with friends. Wes, Jr. had married Oleta Starmer and became a state park officer and they loved going to visit and seeing each park. Some winters they went to California to visit with Norma Lee and Paul and stayed in the guest house which Pearl dubbed ‘The Cabin.’ While there they enjoyed many side trips and liked to say they’d seen the USA from ocean to ocean.
In later years the farm was sold to the state of Iowa as a conservation area with Pearl and Wes maintaining the immediate area around the farm buildings. With health declining, they accepted Bob and Wanda’s invitation to live in their house at 305 N. Grant in Mount Ayr and enjoyed watching the Bennetts’ new home being built down the sidewalk and then having Wanda live right next door.
Pearl and Wes were privileged to share 73 years of married life together before Wes’ passing in 2005. With the help of Wanda, Norma Lee and Oleta, Pearl was able to maintain her own home until a light stroke in January 2010 prompted her to move to Clearview Home. She was always happy to have visits from her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends. On May 13, 2011, just two weeks shy of her 96th birthday, she went to her final heavenly home.
Pearl was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; infant daughter, Neoma; son, Wesley, Jr.; daughter, Wanda, and son-in-law, Robert Bennett; grandson, Charles Wesley Bennett; brothers, Edward, Charles, Harvey, Hover and James, and sister, Ruby.
She is survived by her daughter, Norma Lee Jones of Mount Ayr, Iowa; daughter-in-law, Oleta Jones of Mount Ayr, Iowa; grandson, Kelly Jones; granddaughters, Vicky Vos, Cyndi Sobotka and Rhonda Brand; several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews, and a host of friends.
A memorial fund is established to purchase mission Bibles.
Services were held at the Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Monday, May 16, 2011, with Pastor Barton Shields officiating. Musicians were Alice and Clyde Sweeten.
Casket bearers included Steve Sobotka, Ron Brand, Mike Sobotka, Bob Sobotka, Rod Smith and Lyle Andresen.
Pearl was laid at rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr.