Rowena Mae Jones

January 28, 1926September 4, 2019
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Dear family and friends, please know that we cherish your love and prayers and thank you so much for your thoughts and memories. Love, Patricia, Mike, Steve, and family

The memorial service for Rowena Mae Jones, age 93, of Norman will be held on September 14, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church with Rev. David Spain officiating. Burial will precede the service at the Norman I00F Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. If you desire, the family would appreciate you sharing your comments or memories on the website at In lieu of flowers, Rowena requested that memorials be made on her behalf to the First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster, Norman, OK 73069.

Rowena was born on January 28, 1926 in Caldwell, KS to Lloyd W. and Nanetah J. (Massey) Oerke. She had four brothers and one sister (George, Edward, Kenneth, Marvin, and Gladys). She lived in Caldwell until her graduation from high school in 1943. During high school, she mastered the obo and won major competitions. She later graduated from the Western Union Telegraphy School in Springfield, MO. She was employed by Western Union at Hutchinson, KS during WWII. Rowena also worked for Western Union prior to her marriage in Kingsville and Robstown, TX and Norman, OK. From 1973 to 1977, she founded and was employed as the Director of the Youth Employment Service in Norman.

At age 18 and while working for Western Union, she met her future husband, Wilford H. Jones, who was stationed there for Naval training. They became acquainted when he made numerous trips to the Western Union office to send funds to his Mother. They were married in Cedar Vale, KS on January 6, 1946 and honeymooned in Monterrey, Mexico. They were married for 44 years until her husband’s passing. Their first home was in Corpus Christi, TX until 1959 when they moved to Norman, OK. She spent the rest of her life as a homemaker in the family’s current home and established deep roots in her neighborhood, community and church.

She was a member of the Methodist Church as a child and after marriage, was a member of the Disciples of Christ. Since 1959, she and Wilford were active in the First Christian Church in Norman where she served as Elder, Chairperson for Evangelism and Membership Committees, President and various offices in the Christian Women’s Fellowship and member of the Care Ministry. Through the Care Ministry since 1994, she played the piano weekly for the elderly residents at the Manor Care Nursing Home.

Her other interests included annual family reunions and playing games with family, OU football, Thunder basketball, live music and drama productions, sewing, and traveling around the world. She participated in various Elderhostels and frequently traveled overseas finding pleasure in traveling with siblings to visit relatives in Germany and Spain. She hosted over 100 U.S. citizens for Evergreen Bed & Breakfast Club in her home and enjoyed participation in Friendship Force where she hosted internationals from Australia, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and Turkey. She was a guest of Friendship Force in Mexico, Brazil, and Denmark. After her husband’s passing, at age 63 she met Dr. Rhonald Whiteneck through Friendship Force and shared ten exciting years of OU games, dancing and traveling.

Rowena’s lineage includes 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. Preceding her death were her parents, Lloyd and Nanetah, husband Wilford, brothers Edward and George, and sister Gladys. Survivors include her children; daughter Patricia McLaughlin of Norman, OK, son and daughter-in-law Michael and Twila Jones of Rolla, MO, son and daughter-in-law Stephen and Linda Jones of Tulsa, OK, her grandchildren; Craig Traylor and wife Estella, Julie Drexler and husband Carl, Brian Jones and wife Leah, Kevin Jones and wife Danielle, John McLaughlin, Michelle Jones, Karen Jones, David Jones and wife Megan, Scott Jones, and Christine Jones, and her great grandchildren; Brinlee Jones, Aidan Jones, Craig Traylor, Vivian Traylor, Dodge Drexler, Carissa Jones, Hallie Jones, and Levi Jones. She was deeply respected and honored by everyone she met. She was determined to accept and adjust to the disappointments of life with the help of the Lord. It was commonly said, “Rowena is a sweet lady.”


  • Craig Eason Traylor, Active Pallbearer
  • Brian Scott Jones, Active Pallbearer
  • Kevin Wayne Jones, Active Pallbearer
  • Julie Ann Drexler, Active Pallbearer
  • Michelle Denise Jones, Active Pallbearer
  • Karen Elizabeth Jones, Active Pallbearer
  • John Malcom McLaughlin, Active Pallbearer
  • David Bradley Jones, Active Pallbearer
  • Scott Matthew Jones, Active Pallbearer
  • Christine Joy Jones, Active Pallbearer


  • Visitation Friday, September 13, 2019
  • Visitation Saturday, September 14, 2019
  • Graveside Service Saturday, September 14, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, September 14, 2019
  • Family and Relatives Dinner Saturday, September 14, 2019
  • Family, Relatives, and Friends Gathering Saturday, September 14, 2019


Rowena Mae Jones

have a memory or condolence to add?

Karen Sheffield

September 12, 2019

My deepest sympathies to your family. The world has lost a woman of great grace and refinement. How privileged you all were to call her mom and grandma!
When I was attending Oklahoma Christian College in 1975/76, being away from home for the first time in my life, Rowena knew I might be lonesome for the sense of "family," so she invited me to spend the weekend with her and Wilford in Norman. What a lovely time I had in her welcoming home! It was a kindness I never forgot.
Now I live in a small college town in Kansas. When I interact with students, I assess their level of homesickness, and I attempt to pay Rowena's kindness forward ...
Karen Swiggart Sheffield
(Twila's sister & Mike's sister-in-law)

The Adawis

September 11, 2019

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Jones family. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help during this difficult time. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.
Suad and Tariq

Brian & Kristi Burkhart

September 9, 2019

We are praying for your family and are so sorry. Rowena was an amazing lady and a fabulous neighbor. We loved her stories of her travels, her husband and family, and of the home and neighborhood. She initiated and hosted neighborhood block parties, which we loved! We enjoyed getting to know Rowena and were so blessed to be her neighbor! Many prayers for you all.


September 9, 2019

My husband and I have been blessed to know our good friend Rowena for about 60 years. She and Wilford loved the Lord and devoted many hours each week to leadership, teaching and plain old labor at the church facilities and for their fellow church members. I remember that they drove my mother to medical appointments and other needed places when she became more infirm; and at the end, Wilford served as a pall bearer at my mother's funeral.
We were invited to share in some of their family gatherings and observed the closeness which Rowena fostered among all those who were assembled.
Rowena and I enjoyed our times we were together at local, regional and national levels of the Christian Women's Fellowship . She was a true friend and will be missed, but her loving spirit will live on in all of us. We ask God's blessings on all the family.
Roberta and Gene Smith and family

Larry & Linda Snowbarger

September 8, 2019

It was such a pleasure to know Rowena, affectionately known as "grandmommy". What a special lady! Her intelligence, compassion and quick wit were immediately evident when we first met. When we discovered our common Kansas farm roots, we knew that we would have a special bond. We also enjoyed getting a peek into her personality when we visited her at home and she shared her travel photos and momentos. Rowena inspired us to keep learning, treat people fairly and pursue God. What a blessing to have such a godly legacy for your family! Our prayers are with you as you adjust to her heavenly homecoming.

JoBeth Luman

September 8, 2019

Aunt Ronnie’s soft spoken words and her love will be so missed!

David Harper

September 5, 2019

I will always remember aunt Rowena’s gentle presence and smiles with genuine love and affection to her nephew...David! Her spirit is now in paradise and may The Holy Spirit comfort all who miss her and mourn her passing. Now those smiles are with Him!