Mary Jane “Janie” Lawson Jones, 80, of Largo, Florida and formerly of New Philadelphia, passed away peacefully in the care of Hospice surrounded by her loving and devoted family on April 14, 2023.
Janie was born June 11, 1942 in Johnson City, Tennessee to the late Robert Kyle and Theresa Melvina (King) Lawson Harr. After completing her high school career, Janie continued her formal education receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Education at Newberry College. Then, obtaining her Master of Education degree from Lutheran Southern Seminary.
On June 17, 1967, Janie married her loving husband, Larry Jones. They moved to Ohio where Janie began as the Executive Director of Hospice of Tuscarawas County in 1987. The organization began with a group of local health professionals discussing the hospice movement and planted the seed that launched into Community Hospice, as it is known today. “of course, there are tangible evidence of our programs and growth; however, the real measure of our success cannot be seen in facts and numbers. It lies in the quality of the care that has been provided to individuals and families in need. Hospice has made a real difference in people’s lives. And that, beyond all else, stands as the ultimate tribute to what has been accomplished, and it stands as the ultimate standard for whatever challenges lie ahead.” Janie and the team lived the mission of honoring life by providing peace, hope, and compassion to those they served until her retirement in 2009.
Janie was a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church where she was involved with women’s groups, sang in the choir, and taught Sunday School and VBS. Additionally, she loved quilting making each of her loved ones their own quilt to cherish. Reading and spending quality time with her family and friends were her other passions.
“Her family and friends were blessed to have a role model of faith, love, kindness, selflessness, servant leadership, and grace. She forever changed the lives of those she touched,” said her son Derek.
In addition to her husband, Larry, Janie will be forever cherished by her daughter, Tracey (Bryan) Newman of Pickerington and her son, Derek (Theresa) Jones of Lexington, KY; grandchildren, Alexander and Zachary Newman and Braydon and Payton Jones; and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews. She was preceded in passing by her parents and her brother, Robert Lawson.
The light and twinkling beauty of a star can be seen long after that star’s light has been extinguished. It is said we are all just star dust. Today I believe that to be true. My mother’s light has touched so many lives, made the world a more beautiful place, a more loving place. She filled the world with a light and love and laughter that will be felt and seen even though she is no longer with us. Her passing has left a void too immense to comprehend, like a black hole after a supernova. How blessed I was to call her my mom and best friend – Tracey.
A visitation will be held in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.
A funeral service led by Pastors Doug Gunkelman and Lori Strange will be held in the Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Saturday beginning at 11 am.
Memorial contributions in Janie’s memory may be directed to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church Organ Fund.