Obituary: Jones, Lucille Y.
JONES, Lucille Y. Loving wife, daughter, sister, and aunt; avid reader, learner, Cougs, and Zags fan; successful business partner and investor; and wise and gracious lady, Lucille passed peacefully from this life February 17, 2014, at her home in the Rockwood Retirement Community in Spokane, just a few days shy of) her 97th birthday. Lucille was born in rural Carlinville, Illinois to Robert S. and Osceola Leefers Yowell. From her father, Lucille inherited a deep and abiding love for her mother and her little brother Jack, and the appreciation for good horseflesh that made her an admired and well-known equestrienne at the parades and county fairs of her youth. From her mother, with whom Lucille shared her home for most of Osce’s long life, Lucille inherited the work ethic and kind, can-do spirit that enabled Osce to raise Lucille and Jack on her own as a seamstress through the difficult years of the Great Depression. All her own was the keen intelligence and love of learning that earned Lucille the scholarships and private financial support that enabled her to earn first a bachelor’s degree from Blackburn College in her hometown, and then a master’s in library science from the University of Illinois, both unusual accomplishments for a young woman in the 1930’s, particularly one with limited financial means. At her first professional job, at the University of Iowa science library, Lucille met Edyrn H. Jones, the handsome and ebullient WSU grad and pharmacy student from Spokane who was to be her husband and business partner for 41 years. They married a few weeks after Pearl Harbor, then embarked on an exciting and extended honeymoon during which the young small-town Midwestern woman followed her naval officer husband to postings in Florida, New York City, and the Puget Sound. While Ed prepared for and participated in the invasion of Europe, Lucille spent most of the war as a librarian at Oregon State University in Corvallis. It was there that she developed the deep appreciation for the Pacific coast in general, and the Oregon one in particular, that was to sustain her for many years, particularly in the first difficult decade after Ed’s untimely death in 1982, just as they were preparing for retirement. But in the decades prior to that, Ed and Lucille built a happy and successful life together. After serving as a librarian in the Wenatchee system immediately after the war, Lucille left the profession for which she had trained when Ed bought Ephrata Drug, and taught herself to become an accountant and business manager. Her research and analytic skills proved the perfect counterpart to Ed’s gregarious and entrepreneurial nature, and together they built a successful small chain of retail pharmacies in Grant County before relocating to Spokane and opening Jones Lo-Price Drugs on South Monroe Street in the early 1970’s. Not blessed with children of their own, Ed and Lucille lavished attention and affection on their nieces and nephews; Lucille’s mother and Ed’s unmarried sisters Anne and Jo; their beloved football Cougs; and numerous fortunate employees, pharmacy students, and civic causes. Following Ed’s death, Lucille led a very active and independent life, even after her body finally started to let her down at age 90 (at which point she would sometimes say “this getting old ain’t for sissies”). She traveled internationally; to elder hostels throughout the U.S. (sometimes joking once no longer to make those trips that by then they really should have awarded her a master’s degree in marine biology); and during the last decade of her life with her sister-in-law, her nephew Tim, and his partner Dan on annual road trips throughout the Northwest. In keeping with her lifelong love of learning, Lucille read constantly, usually several books, magazines, and newspapers at a time, particularly once her niece Mary introduced her at age 93 to the convenience of a kindle. She was a loyal, knowledgeable, and patient fan of the football Cougs, the basketball Zags, and the baseball Mariners; a very thoughtful and conscientious observer of local, state, and national affairs; and a devoted member of her church, for the first fifteen years of her life in Spokane at Manito Presbyterian, and for the last fifteen at Hamblen Park Presbyterian. Lucille is survived by her dear friend of more than 70 years “Bo” Bodine of Wenatchee; four nieces - Virginia Jones Gibson of Boyds, Maryland; Mary Lucille Yowell King of Butlerville, Indiana; Kathy Jones McFarland of Santa Barbara, California; and Mary Jones Vallat of Mercer Island, Washington; three nephews - Ricker Jones of Spokane; John Yowell of Carlinville, Illinois; and Tim Yowell of Olympia, Washington; and numerous friends from her church and community whom she touched and inspired with her strength and generosity of spirit. Lucille and her family wish to express their profound appreciation for the outstanding and respectful care provided during her final years by her remarkable physician, Dr. Michael Stephens, and by the outstanding staff of the Rockwood Retirement Community. There will be a small memorial celebration of Lucille’s life at 1:30 P.M. on Friday, April 4, at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church in Spokane. Lucille requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to the Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church in Spokane, or to the E.H. Jones Pharmacy Scholarship at the WSU College of Pharmacy.