Cover photo for Dolores J. Jones's Obituary

Dolores J. Jones

d. January 6, 2022

Dolores J. Jones

Dolores June Schultz Jones, founder of the Republic of Women Who Do What They Want, Not What They're Told, died on January 6, 2022, in Sanford, Maine, with loving family members by her side. She died from pneumonia, a complication of Covid-19. She was 92.

Dolores was born on February 25, 1929, in Knox, Indiana, to the late Viola E. and Frederick W. Schultz.

She was a high school graduate, but it would be the education she earned through her marriage to Richard Anthony (Tony) Yonan, from the Assyrian farming community outside Knox, bearing eight children with him, losing one when a toddler, and raising seven that transformed her life.

Dolores loved motherhood. She encouraged, supported, protected, inspired, and showed love to her children, nurturing with a gentle voice and the message that you could be anything if you worked hard enough and that the world was within your reach. Not one to complain, with joy and skill she tackled what some might say was the drudgery of cooking, cleaning and maintaining a home, knowing the three daily meals and stability her home provided were essential for her family. The story of Dolores' love is written in her children's happiness, their sense of self-worth, and the knowledge that they are loved.

She leaned toward the needs of others, a common thread woven through her life. As a 20-year military wife married to a Middle Eastern man and, stationed in San Angelo, Texas; Selma, Alabama; Albany, Georgia; and Little Rock, Arkansas; she witnessed firsthand discrimination and segregation suffered by those whose skin was other than white. Soft-spoken except when confronted with injustice, she loudly defended the rights of the downtrodden as demonstrated in a department store incident in Selma, when Dolores was offered assistance while a black woman was denied service. Her oldest child, Teri, still recalls the veracity with which her mother reamed out the store manager and refused to be served first. Through her actions, Dolores' moral compass instilled in her children the values of justice and humanity for all.

That outspokenness and unwillingness to affiliate with elitist organizations, such as military officers wifes' clubs, or to attend military social functions, actions which worked against advancing her husband's military career, were defining characteristics. She was a dependent housewife while married to Tony until his tours in Thule, Greenland and Goose Bay, Labrador, while she and the children were stateside. At age 26 and while pregnant with her fifth child, she learned to drive and finally experience the power, dignity, and freedom of financial decision-making.

She chose to divorce Tony with five kids at home, when the only paid work experience she had was as a telephone operator at the age of 18. That brave decision would eventually lead her to meeting and then marrying Vernon Lee Jones. They were inseparable for 46 years, living happily in the old mansion she bought and he renovated, lovingly referred to by the family as the "Plantation." They filled the home with children, dogs, and antiques, including a working Victrola, and welcomed many family members, friends, and guests to the table, where Dolores served her German chocolate cake, Texas salad, pecan tassies, and countless casseroles and other dishes.

Though she preached to her children that they could be and do anything, a lack of attention to her own goals stifled her dreams to travel and attend college. She enrolled in nursing school with four children still at home, but dropped out after a semester to care for her family; she is still fondly remembered by younger classmates as helping them through the rigorous curriculum. With her youngest child, Joe, facilitating the travel, she visited New York City and Boston, experiencing great museums, opera, and restaurants. In Boston, she tasted Vietnamese food for the first time - and loved it.

Dolores was an active church member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where many of her children went to elementary school, and then St Paul's Presbyterian Church, both in San Angelo. She is affectionately remembered for organizing hundreds of boxes of food for those in need, which was initially a collaboration with Project Dignidad, and her dedication as an ombudsman, speaking up for the quality of life of long-term-care residents throughout Tom Green County.

After Vern's death, Dolores moved to Maine, where she lived with her daughter, Rebekah, and son-in-law for a short time, and then moved to Greenwood Center (which became Pinnacle Health and Rehab) for the final 5 and a half years of her life. Although living with dementia, at Greenwood she blossomed through the loving skillful attention of their remarkable staff, daily visits from Rebekah, weekly visits from her friends John and Tchioo and the expertise of Integr8, a medical cannabis clinic. The daily dose of medical cannabis administered by her daughter diminished the combativeness and anxiety the disease created and opened up a creative channel in Dolores that manifested itself through singing, speaking in rhyme, and founding the Republic of Women. Though she was technically a resident, Anne, Tracy, Beth and other staff said that at times she ran the place because, as Dolores put it, "I know how to keep people healthy and happy."

Survivors include her children: Teri (Ray) Beasley of Oviedo, Florida; Nancy Jane Norwood of San Angelo; Rebekah Saras (Peter Kellman) Yonan of North Berwick, Maine; Michael Richard (Bertie Oyer) Yonan of Brownwood, Texas; Julia Ann (Franz Mantini) Yonan of Tampa, Florida; and Benjamin Joseph (Carl Mason) Yonan of Washington, D.C. She is also survived by a stepson, Mike (Greta) Jones of Jonestown, Texas; four grandchildren, Brent (Beth) Bradley of Savannah, Georgia; Joshua Engwer of Lubbock, Texas; Gabriel and Gianni Mantini of Tampa, Florida; one great-grandson, Garrett Bradley of Savannah, Georgia; and a brother, Delvin (Fran) Schultz of Winamac, Indiana.

In addition to her husbands, she was predeceased by two children, Suzanne Marie and Bonny Joyce Engwer; a stepson, Tommy Lee Jones; three siblings, Donald Schultz, Dennis Schultz, and Diane Booknis; her longtime dear friend, Jimmie Tharp; and her beloved long-haired chihuahua, Teeny Tiny.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to friends at St Paul's Presbyterian Church, especially Peggy Tharp and the letter-writing committee for their regular communication with Dolores during her time in Maine.

Memorial graveside services will be 10:00 AM Saturday, May 7, 2022 in Miles Cemetery at Miles, followed by a celebration of her life at St Paul's Presbyterian Church in San Angelo. Arrangements have been entrusted to Robert Massie Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to your local animal rescue organization.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dolores J. Jones, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, May 7, 2022

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