Margaret Ann Ellison Jones age 86 passed away on October 21, 2020 in Cedar City, Utah.
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It is not too often that someone gets to prepare for their own passing as Margaret has. In some ways, I thought it was a blessing that she was able to put things in order, but it also gave her time to grieve for the life and people she was leaving behind. She helped in writing her own eulogy by sharing memories and the love of her family. She lived a wonderful life full of love and service to family and church. To us as her family, she was the embodiment of the values she strove to pass on to us: Honesty, hard work, kindness, loyalty, and service. It is hard to sum up such a Christlike life in a few words.
She was born Margaret Ann Ellison on August 9, 1934 in Ogden, Utah to Mae Croft Evans and Stanley Cowley Ellison. At 9 months old, Stanley wanted to go to the ranch in Tuscarora (Nevada) to help put up hay for the summer, so Mae and Margaret went along for the summer job. To Quote Mae “it was the longest summer ever, we never left.” Margaret’s 3 sisters followed: Connie Rae, Marie and Kaye.
She attended the Spanish Ranch’s one room school house for 8 years. She remembers that it held 8 students at the most, but it had to have 3 students to remain open. Sometimes, her dad would hire families with children to make sure the school didn’t close.
For high school, she boarded with families in Elko while attending Elko High School. After 2 ½ years, Mae and Stanley bought a home in town and Margaret finished her high school years living with her mother and sisters. She graduated in 1952. One of her favorite activities was participating on the Elko intermural girls’ basketball team where she played forward and was an exceptional player. It was a ½ court basketball game with offence on one ½ and defense on the other ½ of the floor, but she loved it. She attended Utah State University, graduating in 1956 in Elementary Education.
She taught in Elko and after marrying Robert J Jones in Reno, Nevada on October 2, 1964 she continued to teach in Susanville, California. They were sealed in the Logan Utah Temple on July 15, 1966 and raised two wonderful daughters, Sheral Ann and Katheen.
She has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and loves the gospel, holding many callings. She loved the art of quilting. She learned the craft from friends but loved the association she had with them even more. She loved reading books, planting flowers, and everything about the ranch life. You would find her in her camp trailer helping sheer sheep, visiting the ranch office, attending shareholder meetings, and taking an interest in everything from cattle prices to where they built the new fence or barn. As a youth, she would help break the young colts to lead. In the summer, she wrangled the work horses at noon during hay season when they had to change out the teams who pulled the racks and mowing machines. She lived for the dances and activities that the valley would hold. She loved feeding the leppy lambs and driving her dad around to all the sheep and cow camps, riding and branding.
But the one unifying thread that ran throughout her life was family. She loved being a wife and mother. She was a great spectator watching Sheral’s dance team and Kathleen’s basketball and softball games. She followed Bob as he coached basketball at Lassen High School and Community College and refereeing high school games. She enjoyed fishing with her girls and Bob at the Eagle Lake, relaxing in their cabin and watching the girls build forts and boating. Some of her favorite memories were trips to track meets, and attending San Francisco 49er games. Later she loved supporting Bob as he served in the bishopric and other callings helping with ward activities and anything she could do to “lighten the load.”
She is survived by 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren whom she adores and loved spending time with.
As she got word of her diagnosis with brain cancer, she called and conveyed to me her appreciation of the life she had the privilege of living, her blessings she was abundantly given, her deep love for her friendships she had over the years, her overwhelming gratitude for her family and her deep love for her Heavenly Father.
Quote “I love God. I trust God. I know he has a plan that is best for all and a timeline. So I’ll just go along for the ride! Our dear prophet tells us to ‘enjoy the journey” and that is what I’ve tried to do.”
Margaret was truly an example of service and love. She made everyone feel welcome in her home. She had the ability of being ladylike and full of grace and yet not back down on her beliefs and standards. She remembers a quote that Beryl Neff gave in church one Sunday. Sister Neff said the following words, “ I don’t know if the Lord is going to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, or “Good try old girl” It made Margaret laugh. Margaret passed away on October 21, 2020 in Cedar City, Utah, with her dear husband, Bob close by.
I know that the lord has wrapped his arms around her and whispered “Well done, Margaret.” I am so grateful that she was a part of our family and a part of my life. God be with you until we meet again.
Graveside services were held at Burns Funeral Home and Memorial Garden in Elko Nevada on Tuesday October 29, 2020 Under the direction of Affordable Funeral Services