Barbara Ann JonesJuly 18, 1934 ~ July 15, 2017 (age 82)
Barbara Hardman – Jones; wife, dedicated mother, homemaker and educational professional, passed quietly July 15.
The youngest of two girls to James M. Hardman and Gurlie Mae Sharp Hardman, Barbara was born in Danville, Illinois July 18, 1934. Raised and educated in Danville, it was during high school that while out on a date, Barbara caught the eye of another young man; Ira Grover Jones. He asked her out, they quickly fell in love and were married just out of high school September 30, 1950.
Barbara partnered with Ira as he pursued his love and life long career with the rail road; initially in Danville and after a promotional opportunity in 1969, in North Little Rock Arkansas. With Ira’s retirement in 1987, both made their final home in Melbourne Florida.
Barbara’s loves in life were her family, community and time spent on the water. She was a dedicated mother to her daughter Carol Sue Brown and will always be remembered as the ever present, ever giving and loving grandmother to her two grandchildren, Lindan Marie Brown-Lawson and Christopher Evan Brown.
Barbara’s giving extended beyond her family. She dedicated 17 years of service as a paraprofessional for the Pulaski County School System in Arkansas working with special needs children, regularly taught Sunday School at her Methodist Church in Danville where she and Ira also served as Methodist Youth Counselors.
While on a temporary leave from the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad in the early 60’s Barbara, Ira and Carol took up residence in a beachfront apartment in Jacksonville, Florida. It was there Barbara came to love time spent with family on the water. When the family was transferred to North Little Rock later in Ira’s career, both Barbara and Ira rekindled that passion; buying a lot on Greers Ferry Lake and establishing a vacation residence. Throughout the years their home, party barge and ski rig served as a place for family, family pets and family friends to gather and enjoy life. Barbara was renowned for her ability to slalom water ski; never once getting her hair wet. She will more fondly be remembered though for the rainy days; reading endless books and playing doll house with her grandchildren.
Barbara is preceeded in death by her husband of 66 years but survived and long remembered by daughter Carol, her grandchildren Lindan and Chris as well as sister Patsy J. Davis.
A memorial service will be held 10AM Saturday July 29 at Suntree Methodist Church, 7400 N. Wickham, Melbourne, FL. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Special Olympics (specialolympics.org) in Barbara’s name.