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January 4, 2014

Jean Catherine Kimball Jones

Nov. 14, 1920 — Dec. 29, 2013

COMANCHE — Jean Catherine Kimball Jones, long time resident of Route 3, Comanche, died Dec. 29, 2013, at the age of 93. She passed away at the Lawton/Fort Sill Veteran’s center where she had been a resident for the past three years.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. at Ray of Hope in Comanche on Saturday, Jan. 11.

Jean was born on Nov. 14, 1920, to parents Alvin Luther Kimball and Monny Boyd Kimball. She grew up in Wauconda, Ill. and the city of Chicago.

After graduating from high school, she attended Sullins College in Bristol, Va., receiving an associate degree in Physical Education in 1941. She worked in Chicago before enlisting in the Women’s Army Corps in 1943. Her WWII adventures took her to Georgia, California, and New Guinea in the South Pacific.

She was among the first group of U.S. women to serve abroad. In New Guinea, she met her future husband Joe Lee Jones. The couple married on Jan. 26, 1946, and opened a dairy farm west of Comanche. During the following 16 years, the family and farm grew and prospered. Three children were born: JoJean in 1946, Kim in 1949, and Pamela in 1956.

Jean loved the farm and rural Oklahoma life. When Joe Lee died in 1962, she remained on the farm converting the dairy farm to beef cattle. In 1972, she installed a swimming pool in her back yard and began teaching swimming lessons to children in the community. She was a certified Red Cross swim instructor and taught lessons every summer for more than 30 years.

Never afraid to try new things, Jean took a break from the farm in 1980 and joined the peace Corps ACTIONS’S International program. She served in Ecuador as a cattle extension volunteer near Quito for several months until the program was cancelled due to political unrest.

In 1993 at the age of 73, Jean qualified for and competed in the National Senior Sports Olympics in Baton Rouge, La. She swam the 50M breast stroke, back stroke, and freestyle swim as well as a 5K cycle race. Additionally, Jean was a regular participant in the Southwest Oklahoma Senior games at the Duncan Simmons Center. Her last year to participate was 2009 at the age of 89.

In her 80s Jean was an active participant at the Comanche Senior Nutrition center serving often as a volunteer bus driver, shuttling seniors to and from the center for lunch.

Always patriotic, Jean would fly the American flag daily from her home. In October of 1997, she attended the dedication of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington D.C. and was honored as a WWII veteran. Her most recent honor was bestowed in May of 2011 by the women of the Oak College OHCE. As part of their state project “Support Our Military,” the group honored Jean, a veteran of “the Greatest Generation.”

Additionally, she was an active member in the Comanche American Legion Post. This past Fourth of July, she served as an honorary flag guard, raising the flag at the Comanche Field of Dreams.

Jean’s life was completed when she donated her body to the GenLife Institute (United Tissue Research Center) for classroom research purposes and to help people in the future.

Besides her parents and husband, Jean was preceded in death by her sister Roberta (Bobbie) Kimball Geary in 2010.

She is survived by three children JoJean Jones and husband Homer Jones of San Diego, Calif., Vaughn Kimball (Kim) Jones and wife Daphne Robinson Jones of Houston, Texas, and Pamela Jones Perez and Jerry Felsinger of Comanche; a half sister Patty Jones of Signal Mountain, Tenn.; five grandchildren, Bonnie Spencer of Greenville, S.C., Bret Jones of San Diego, Calif., Kylan Jones of Ft. Worth, Texas, Chase Jones of  Houston, Texas, and Jaquelyn Perez Dunegan of Durant; five great-grandchildren, Rachel and Matthew Spencer, Skylar and Dylan Jones, and Presley Rose Dunegan.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution go to either Lawton/Fort Sill Veterans Center, Comanche American Legion Post #258 or Comanche Nutrition Center.

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