Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Betty Jane Jones

Betty Jane (Thompson) Jones died in Somers, Conn., at the home of her daughter, Nancy, on Sept 30, 2022. Her children and some of her grandchildren were by her side.

Betty was born in Ahsahka, Idaho on November 20, 1925, the daughter of Harold Sabro Thompson and Lenora Snyder Thompson. She grew up in the small town of Orofino, Idaho, where she lived an idyllic life, enjoying the companionship of her two brothers, Art and Lloyd, her many cousins and lots of extended family.

Following her graduation from Orofino High School, Betty attended the University of Idaho. On one fateful day in 1943, she met a charming army officer from New Jersey, Ben Jones, who was stationed at the university for special training during World War II.

They married in 1944 and spent more than 70 years together, living in Maplewood, N.J.; Cleveland, Ohio; Somers, Conn.; Stuart, Fla. and Shelter Island.

Betty was first and foremost a wife and mother. While raising her children, she volunteered with school, church and scouting organizations and the Boys and Girls Club. She was a natural athlete, an enthusiastic tap dancer, and never heard of a card or board game that she was unwilling to try.

She was also a lifelong reader and lover of books. Betty took up golf in her 40s and became accomplished and passionate about the game, winning many tournaments and trophies and continuing to play well into her 90s.

Ben brought Betty to Shelter Island shortly after their marriage, and they made their home here, first part-time and then full-time, for more than seven decades. Betty was a longtime member of the Shelter Island Yacht Club and Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.

She was also a trustee of Union Chapel and assisted with scores of weddings there, a role she greatly enjoyed. In her later years she attended Silver Circle at the Senior Center, learned mahjong at the library, played bridge weekly, and relished the time she spent with friends and family.

Betty was predeceased by her beloved husband, Benjamin F. Jones. She is survived by three children: Douglas Jones (Suellen Speed), Susan Jones (Ted Clark), and Nancy Jones. She is also survived by five granddaughters: Alison Bearer (Greg), Holland Perry (Anthony), Marleigh Hawes (Devon), Phoebe Clark and Nora Clark, and by seven great-grandchildren: Kyle Vance, Paisley and Makenna Perry, Sadie and Nolan Bearer, and Benjamin and Daxton Hawes.

A service to celebrate Betty’s life will be held on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at Union Chapel in the Grove. Those wishing to make a donation in Betty’s memory are encouraged to donate to the Shelter Island Public Library, PO Box 2016, Shelter Island, NY 11964, or to Union Chapel in the Grove, PO Box 326, Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965.