Ella Pigford Jones remembered for devotion to her husband, enjoyment of golf, quick wit
OSAGE BEACH — She lived in a home her husband had built for her on three acres beside a lake in Osage Beach. Ella Pigford Jones had never seen the house, much less traveled to Osage Beach, before she and her daughter moved there.
"Mom was thinking, 'Where in the world has Paul chosen to take me?'" Jacqueline Bulgin said, but she moved "for the love of her man." Bulgin laughed as she recalled her mother telling the story.
Ella Pigford Jones of Osage Beach died Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011. She was 89.
She was born Aug. 23, 1922, in Sparta, Ill., to Thomas and Elizabeth (Crabtree) Pigford.
Mrs. Jones married Paul Campbell Jones on April 4, 1942, while he was on leave from the U.S. Army Air Corps. They were married for 68 years until Paul Jones' death in 2010.
"(My parents) were absolutely devoted to each other," Bulgin said.
Michael Devlin, a next-door neighbor, said, "(Mrs. Jones and her husband) were just the kind of people that made this country great." When he moved to Tan-Tar-A Estates in Osage Beach, Mrs. Jones took him under her wing.
"I lost my mom, and I had an extra one," Devlin said.
He described Mrs. Jones as a "real salt-of-the-earth" type of person.
Mrs. Jones worked for J.B. Deere Cedar Craft Co. in Osage Beach for about 35 years, retiring in 1984 as a manager.
"She was just sharp," Devlin said.
"It's such a pity that both her and Paul (Jones) are gone and all that knowledge and experience are gone, and it's just heartbreaking," he said.
Mrs. Jones and her husband went dancing every weekend, Dee Kennedy, a friend, said.
"A couple that dances together stays together," Kennedy said Mrs. Jones used to say.
Mrs. Jones was also a sports player with a penchant for softball and golf, Bulgin said.
In her 50s, Mrs. Jones won a golfing tournament and got the chance to play a round of golf with professional golfer Patty Berg. She also enjoyed playing golf with her husband.
"I could always tell if Mom was the victor because it would be pretty quiet when they got home," Bulgin said, chuckling.
Mrs. Jones adored animals, both wild and tame. She fed birds, squirrels and stray cats, two of which she adopted and named Tigger and Shorty. They were the "love of her life," Bulgin said. She said her father used to joke that one day they'd open the blinds and there would be a bear waiting to be fed.
Mrs. Jones' family expressed gratitude to the employees at Osage Beach Health Care Center for the care and compassion they showed to Mrs. Jones.
"Even in the last days, ... they loved her because of her quick wit," Bulgin said.
Mrs. Jones is survived by her daughter, Jacqueline Bulgin of Columbia; three grandchildren, Paula Elam and Trevor Bulgin, both of Columbia, and Malinda Schumacher of Olathe, Kan.; and four great-grandchildren.
Her husband, Paul Campbell Jones; two brothers, Raymond Pigford and Matthew Pigford; and her son-in-law, Lawrence Bulgin, died earlier.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Hedges-Scott Funeral Home, 514 Highway 42, Osage Beach. The Rev. Jim Snyder will officiate. Mrs. Jones will be buried beside her husband at the Veterans Wall at Lake Memorial Gardens Cemetery at Hedges-Scott Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions can be made in Mrs. Jones' name to the Dogwood Animal Shelter, 1075 Roundabout Drive, Osage Beach, MO 65065, or to the charity of the donor's choice.
Condolences can be posted at hedgesscottfuneralhomes.com.