Mary Jo Jones passed away peacefully at home on the St. Johns River in Grandview, East Palatka, FL, on May 30, 2020 surrounded by her family.
She was born an only child to Ernest and Elzie Ammons in Asheville, NC, on August 11, 1928 and grew up in Augusta, Georgia. She graduated at the top of her class from Agnes Scott College where she majored in Mathematics and Chemistry and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While at Agnes Scott she performed some of the early research in paper chromatography with her chemistry professor, Dr. Charles Frierson. She was also goalie for the Agnes Scott field hockey team, allowing only one goal scored against them in her career (never mind that it was the only shot that came her way).
Following graduation, she worked in the lab at Oliver General Hospital in Augusta where she met Fred Rudder Jones from Palatka, Florida. He became the love of her life and in August of this year, they would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. In 1954 they moved to Palatka where, in addition to raising four children with Fred, Mary Jo influenced the lives of many others as a chemistry and math teacher at Palatka High School, even earning a Star Teacher award. She was a long-time, active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Palatka and an ordained elder of the church. More than once, she and Fred enjoyed serving as church youth group advisors, hosting many events for them and taking them on trips. She has remained in touch with many of them to this day.
Among the many things she enjoyed, Mary Jo loved staying at the beach, even more so after she got her first boogie board for her 59th birthday. She taught her grandchildren the finer points of riding a wave at Crescent Beach. After retirement, Mary Jo and Fred enjoyed traveling within the U.S. and abroad.
Survivors include her husband and best friend Fred, children Susan Mowery (Douglas) of Fernandina Beach, FL, Linda G. Jones of Young Harris, GA, Mary Kay Payne (Billy) of Palatka, Fred Rudder Jones, Jr. (Lynn) of San Mateo, FL, five grandchildren (Marc, Fran, Michael, Ryan and Emma) and four great-grandchildren (Mia, Addison, Maclen and Emory). She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by her family.
Final arrangements are being conducted by Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home. A private memorial service for family members will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2020 in the First Presbyterian Church and live streamed for others to view.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 123 South Second Street, Palatka, FL 32177.
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Mary Jo’s Book of Memories page at www.johnsonoverturffunerals.com .
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.