ATCHISON — Virginia L. Jones, 93, of Atchison passed away March 25 in Miami, Fla.
Virginia was born in Hoisington on January 7, 1918, the fourth of five children to John M. and Agnes Wildgen Lewis. She married Patrick D. Wilds in 1943 shortly before he was shipped overseas as a World War II medic. After the war, the couple took over the family hardware business and lived in Hoisington. At the age of 32 Virginia was widowed with three young children, but continued to own and operate the John M. Lewis Hardware store in Hoisington for the next five years. In 1954, she married Raymond Jones and moved with her children to Atchison. Virginia and Ray had been married for 41 years when Ray passed away in 1995. Virginia spent 50 plus years as an active member of the Atchison community and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Virginia served on the Atchison Library Board for over 20 years, was a two term chairperson of the board, and the president of the Northeast Kansas Library Board for several years. She was also a charter member of the Friends of the Library.
Serving as president and a charter member of the Atchison Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers, Virginia headed several committees including the Scholarship Committee. She was the original buyer for the gift shop and managed the shop for the first five years of its existence. At the state level, she served as president of the Hospital Auxiliaries of Kansas. Virginia never stopped her volunteer work at the hospital and continued to be active in fundraising events such as the annual bake sale.
Virginia was an avid golfer and a member of the Belleview Golf Association. She was president of the Kansas Women’s Golf Association and chairperson of the State 9 Hole Tournament.
Politics was another of Virginia’s interests. She was active in the Atchison County Republican Party and a member of the election board for almost 40 years. She served as supervising judge for the 4th Ward.
St. Joseph’s was Virginia’s beloved parish church for more than 50 years. In that time she gave generously of her time and energy as a member and Treasurer of the Altar Society. She embroidered and quilted with other members of the Society, headed the needle crafts section of bazaars, ran bake sales, balanced the books for church suppers, and collected news items for the church’s scrapbooks.
Being a member of the Governor’s Board at St. Benedictine College was a way for Virginia to give back to her alma mater, Mount St. Scholastica, class of 1940. She served as co-chairperson for several college fund-raising drives over the years.
Virginia is survived by her three children, Virginia Wilds Day and Pamela Wilds Marmin of Miami Shores, Fla., and Patrick Wilds of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; her stepson Phillip Jones and his wife Judy of Atchison; her granddaughters Leslie and her husband Tom Gwynn of Thornton, Colo., Allison and her husband Gene McFerrin of Atchison, Laurie and her husband Tim Tinklin of Kansas City, Darsha and Lila Wilds of Austin, Texas, grandson Frank Marmin and his wife Vicki of Palm City, Fla., and six great-grandchildren: Hunter Gwynn, Elizabeth McFerrin, Roman and Ramon Chavarria, Sydney and Samantha Marmin. She was preceded in death by her husband Raymond, stepson Pete Jones, brother John Henry Lewis, and three sisters, Genevieve Lewis Samuelson, Mary Margaret Lewis Debes and Blanche Lewis Alcott.
A funeral service is scheduled at 10 a.m. April 9 at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Atchison. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to St. Joseph’s Altar Society. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home in Atchison, 913-367-6403.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, March 31, 2011**