Laura Billings Jones



Laura Billings Jones passed away peacefully at — p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, 2009, with her husband of 64 years, Kenneth Harry Jones, and her son, Larry, at her side.



Born July 26, 1926, in Ashland, Ore., Laura spent nearly her entire life in the Ashland area and graduated from Ashland High School in 1944 as salutatorian. Laura and Ken were married on Aug. 12, 1945, in Ashland's First United Methodist Church. She was an active member of that church all her life and taught Sunday School there for many years.



Her grandfather, G. F. Billings, who was born in Maine, and who moved to Ashland from Washington, D.C., was one of the founders of the Ashland Chautauqua Association on the grounds of the present-day Ashland Shakespeare Festival Theater.



Laura was a partner, along with Ken, and was responsible for the accounting in both the Ashland and Medford insurance agencies of S. C. Jones and Sons, as well as for various investment properties in which she was involved. One of the founders of the Ashland Guanajuato Sister City program, Laura received many awards for her service. Laura was also an active member the Ashland AC chapter of PEO.



Laura enjoyed her travel experiences, especially flying in the right seat beside Ken for over 40 years in their Cessna and much of the time being the navigator. She liked flying in Mexico where she had many wonderful experiences and warm friendships, especially in Guanajuato. She also loved all their many motor trips, tours and cruises throughout the US and Canada, and then preparing scrap books for each trip. A three week RV tour of the Oregon Trail following the route of her ancestors who traveled in covered wagons to Ashland in 1853, was a highlight of her travels.



Laura was known and loved for her quiet thoughtfulness which included her cards and news clippings to her friends and family. Ken would say, "She could not pass by a greeting card rack without stopping to pick up a few cards, and she always called to thank those who sent cards to her, right up to the day she died."



In addition to her husband and son, Larry, she is survived by three other children, Barbara (Michael Adams), of Aspen, Colo., Susan (Jody Whitsett), of Astoria, Ore., and Steve (Marie) of Portland, Ore.; cousin, John Billings, of Ashland, Ore.; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.



Donations in her memory may be made to the Ashland First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main Street, Ashland, OR 97520.



A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 26th, Laura's birthday, at the Ashland First United Methodist Church. A reception at the Wesley Hall annex will follow.