Obituary for Sarah Jane Jones [4-6-16]


Obituary for Sarah Jane Jones

March 27, 1938 to April 2, 2016


Sarah Jane Jones, born and raised in Oklahoma City, died there on April 2, 2016 from a rare neurological disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

She attended Sequoyah Grade School and Harding Junior High. After attending Classen High School for two years, in 1956 she was in the first class to graduate from the newly constructed Northwest Classen, where she was its first student council president. For two years she attended the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority.

In 1958 she married her high school sweetheart, Joe R. Jones, and they moved to New Haven, CT where Joe became a student at Yale Divinity School. In New Haven she gave birth to two daughters, Serene and Kindy, and obtained a B.S. in Education from Southern Connecticut State University. In 1967 in Richardson, TX, she gave birth to another daughter, Verity. In 1986 she graduated magna cum laude with a M.Ed. in Counseling from Phillips University in Enid, OK and was a much beloved counselor at Enid High School. In 1988, upon moving to Indianapolis, she became the Chief Counselor at Park Tudor School. In 1992 she earned a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Butler University in Indianapolis, and enjoyed a private practice as a psychotherapist from 1993 into her retirement to Oklahoma in 2000. She also earned credentials at The Shalem Institute as a certified Spiritual Director.

From childhood until her death, Sarah was always known for her beauty, her graceful manner, and her leadership in the various communities and churches in which she and her family resided. In 1982 she received the Enid Woman of the Year Award, along with a famous full-page photograph of her in the Enid Morning News! And in 1982 she earned a Private Pilot’s License and in 1984 a Commercial License, which filled her with great pride of achievement. She enjoyed flying her husband, who was then President of Phillips University, on various trips to promote the university.

Her daughter Dr. Lynda Serene Jones, her oldest, is President of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Kindanne Jones, middle daughter, is currently Deputy Attorney General, Litigation Unit of the Office of the Attorney General in Oklahoma and is married to William Bean. Verity Jones is currently Executive Vice President at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and is married to William Wagnon. Over the years, when folk would remark that the daughters had kept their ‘maiden names’, they would reply that ‘no, they kept their mother’s maiden name!’

In 2000 Sarah and her husband retired to a family cabin—Anchor Point— on Ft. Gibson Lake in eastern Oklahoma. In 2012, health issues brought them to Epworth Villa Retirement Community in Oklahoma City. And in November of 2012 she was diagnosed with PSP, apparently for the previous five years or more.

Sarah was pre-deceased by her brother, Sam Jones, and her parents, Glenn and Peggy Jones, and her beloved aunt and uncle, Sissy and Ed Belew. The Joneses and Belews together owned the famous Crown Heights Drug Store and, later, the Jones-Belew Drug Stores.

She is survived by her beloved husband, the Reverend Dr. Joe R. Jones, and grandchildren, Jess and Cole Eddy of Oklahoma City, Charis Jones of New York City, and Sarah Grace Wagnon of Indianapolis. Dr. Krista Jones of Edmond, her niece, and her husband, the Reverend Craig Stinson, have been especially caring.

Sarah and Joe are members of Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond.

Her family is grateful for the extended care Sarah received from Epworth’s long term care nursing staff and hospice staff. Dr. Ricki Conrady was wonderful as her primary care physician, and Dr. Cherian Karunapuzha, neurologist at OU Physicians, was exceptionally skillful in diagnosing and treating her PSP disease.

A visitation with the family is planned for Monday, April 4th from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Smith & Kernke Funeral Home, 14624 N. May in Oklahoma City. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, April 5th at 2:00 pm at the Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be directed to the Joe R. and Sarah J. Jones Endowed Scholarship Fund established in their honor at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis:



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Reader Responses

Rev. Michael and Ms. Mackenzie Enright

responded on 04/07/16

Sarah was one of those people who let God’s light radiate from her so brilliantly and beautifully it seemed to shock to the senses. The world will miss Sarah Jones. We will miss Sarah!

Rev Barbara M Rathbun

responded on 04/07/16

My dear Joe,
Please know that you and your daughters and grandchildren are in my heart and my prayers as you learn to live with Sarah in your heart rather than by your side. She was a warm, loving, positive presence and a welcoming host to your home in Indianapolis. You were indeed blessed to have her in your life, as she was to have you. Her life is celebrated by many.
Peace and blessings to you
Barbara (CTS MDiv ‘01)

Owen Cayton

responded on 04/07/16


I was so sad to hear of Sarah’s passing. Though I know it was not entirely unexpected, I also know the grief you must feel is immense. May the peace of the risen Christ rest on you and give you hope.


Ron Byars

responded on 04/07/16

So sorry, Joe. I remember Sarah as a lovely person in every respect. You continue to be in my prayers.

Phyllis Goodyear

responded on 04/07/16

Joe: I am so sorry for your loss and saddened to know what the past few years must have been like for you. I pray God will give you strength and comfort in your grief and surround you with caring friends and family in the months to come.

Tony Ciccariello

responded on 04/07/16

Hello Joe , I am so sorry to hear about your wife.You and I have never met but our virtual connection came through the blogs of Theology and Peace and I feel I do know you through your blogs. May God comfort you and may Sarah rest in the peace of Jesus.
Be well,


Susan M. Clark

responded on 04/07/16

    Anyone who ever had Joe Jones for a theology class learned very quickly that his family was (is) very dear to him.  His voice takes on a special reverence when speaking of those closest to his heart.  So today even those of us who never had the honor of meeting his Sarah in person but who did hear those stories of their romance and lives together mourn her passing. 
    Let us remember these promises:  “In my father’s house are many rooms” and “I am going on to prepare a place for you - if it were not so, would I have said so?” 
    Much love and sympathy, Sue

Tom W. Boyd

responded on 04/08/16

Only today did I learn of Sarah’s death, and I find myself weeping for the loss of such a devoted, gracious and powerful woman. Her obituary is itself a marvel. She gave womanhood an even better name. She leaves behind a family who will carry on her legacy with dignity and grace. I grieve for her dear family and especially for Joe who now has a hole in his soul. Bless all of you through your grief.