Avis Jones, 102, longtime resident of Malvern, passed away July 16, 2018 at her daughter Janet's home in Calamus, Iowa.
Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at the Loess Hills Funeral Home in Malvern. Burial will be in the Malvern Cemetery. Visitation will be 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20, 2018 at the funeral home in Malvern.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Malvern Volunteer Fire Department
Carrie Avis Jones, the oldest of four children of John Oscar and Myrtle Eunice (Gorman) Belknap, was born on April 3, 1916 on a farm near Creston, Nebraska. Her family moved in 1925 to live in Creston where her father had a dray line. In January 1930, the family moved to a farm near Strahan, Iowa where Avis attended the Strahan School.
Avis and Clair W. Jones were united in marriage on January 24, 1933 in Rock Port, Missouri. They made their home in the Strahan area for a few years before moving to live in Malvern, Iowa. Their marriage was blessed with six children, Donald, Harold, Robert, Nancy, Janet, and Marie.
In 1955, Avis began working part-time for the Malvern Schools as a custodian. In 1961, Avis became a full-time custodian at the old high school and when the new building was finished, she moved along with the students. Avis transferred to the Hot Lunch program in 1973, where she became the baker. She retired at the end of the 1981 school year, but substituted in the kitchen for another ten years. Never really retiring, Avis cooked noon meals for the J & N Fertilizer employees until 2001.
Avis and Clair enjoyed camping, traveling, and visiting their family. They were married 49 years when Clair died suddenly from a heart attack on April 19, 1982.
Avis was a member of the Malvern United Methodist Church and 39ers Club. Her first (and only) trip by airplane was in 1993, to Maryland, to attend a granddaughter's wedding.
Avis enjoyed reading, sewing, embroidery and crafts of all kinds. Every year since 1982, she has made Christmas ornaments for her family. Avis lovingly crocheted over 200 afghans for her family. She loved gardening (it wasn't a small one either), canning, cooking, and baking; especially pies and rolls. Her apple butter was a favorite gift to receive. Avis canned, baked, and gardened right up until mid-2017 when she had a stroke. In August 2017, she moved to eastern Iowa to be cared for by her daughters, Janet and Marie, and alternated living in their homes.
Avis passed away on July 16, 2018 at the home of her daughter Janet, in Calamus, Iowa, at the age of 102 years, 3 months, and 13 days. In addition to her beloved husband Clair, she was preceded in death by her parents; daughter Nancy Irvin in 2011; three grandchildren; three great grandchildren; brothers, Gene Belknap and John Belknap; and brother-in-law Floyd Anderson.
Avis is survived by her children, Don Jones of Malvern, Harold (Delores) Jones of Malvern, Bob (Dorothy) Jones of Gardendale, AL, Janet Donelson (Eddie Scott) of Calamus, IA, and Marie (James) Donelson of Davenport, IA; son-in-law John Irvin of Yukon, OK; 16 grandchildren; 31 great grandchildren; 38 great-great grandchildren (two more are due in 2018); and one great-great-great granddaughter Ivy Mae (creating a 6th generation); sister Lois Anderson of Shenandoah, IA; sister-in-law Shirley Belknap of Shenandoah; former son-in-law Jack (Bonnie) Donelson of Davenport; many extended relatives; and a host of friends.
Avis leaves a legacy of unconditional love, devotion to her family, church, and community. She will be truly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Avis was truly one of a kind. She always had a smile for you along with a kind word. You could tell that she enjoyed her job and enjoyed being around all the students. You felt you were almost family instead of just another student. Her warmth and kindness with be missed.
Avis and my Grandma, Nellie Burgoin cooked and served hundreds of meals together at the Malvern School. They were a great team and put so much love into the meals they served, making sure each child had enough to eat, had a special piece of birthday cake with a candle in your "birthday month", prepared amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners just in case the kids didn't get those kinds of meals at home. I know they had fun times in the kitchen planning meals, baking cinnamon rolls and making chili, planning their crazy Homecoming floats and lots of laughs and love. Thank you for the wonderful memories, you will be missed.
I was only the accountant but she made the best fertilizer season lunch’s at J&N on the business and always served them with a smile. Very nice lady.
When I was in high school Avis always had time to talk to me when I needed a friend. She never judged she just listened. I'm not sure she knew, but I "adopted" her way back then. I will miss our visits, Avis. As one of your many step kids, save me a place, we will see each other again someday. Love, Pat
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