Doris Jones, 93, of Whitewater, died March 26, 2015, at Fort Atkinson Hospital in the presence of her son Craig.

She had recently returned from Florida where she had visited with family members at their gathering place on Sanibel Island.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles Thayer and Louella (McClery) Thayer; husband, Russell Jones; daughter, Barbara; and siblings, Josh Thayer and Jean (Ray) Forrest.

Doris is survived by her son, Craig (Treen), of Fairfax Station, Va., granddaughters, Jennifer (Kevin Nishiyama), of Round Hill, Va., and Andrea Jones, of Vienna, Va.; and grandson, Jonathan Frankel (Sarah), of Elkhorn; great granddaughters, Taylor Beth Nishiyama, Sienna Grace Nishiyama; great grandson, Ashton Page Frankel; siblings, Dick (Mary Jane) Thayer of Vista, Calif., and Nancy (Dick Stones), of Palatine, Ill. There are also numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

Doris Marion Thayer was born Dec. 14, 1921, at the family homestead west of Palmyra that her great-grandfather Joshua homesteaded in the 1840’s. Her father Charlie was well known in the area as a farmer and auctioneer. She graduated from College High School in Whitewater and attended Whitewater State Teachers’ College for two years before graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She married Russell Jones, of Palmyra, July 1, 1944, in Cambridge, Mass., where Russell was preparing to become a naval officer. Over the next 30 years, they travelled to Japan and several stateside duty stations where Doris’ natural grace and dignity in her role as a navy wife helped support her husband’s career.

In 1975, Captain and Mrs. Jones returned to their roots and settled into a house on Whitewater Lake. Russell worked for several years at the University of Wisconsin Extension Division in Madison and both of them plunged into the life of their community.

After Russell suffered a stroke in 2002, the couple moved to an apartment at Fairhaven in Whitewater. Russell died in 2005 and Doris continued to live in the same apartment.

Doris was known for her sense of style. She always wanted to look good and she always did. A superb cook, she whipped up many savory meals for the family and more than one family member swore by her peach pie.

As she aged she settled into the role of matriarch, giving of herself generously to family and friends. Although she was slowed in her later years by poor eyesight and an uncertain short-term memory, her intelligence and spirit always shone through. She was still Doris. Her great grandchildren were a special joy.

Doris was an active member of the Congregational Church of Whitewater and the Congregators’ Circle, the Minneiska Club of the Whitewater Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Palmyra Historical Society to whom she and Russell gave much time and treasure. She was also a patron of the Irvin Young Auditorium arts program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She was an accomplished gardener and dry flower arranger. She was an excellent bridge player and had many good friends, in and out of Fairhaven and was a charter member of the Double A wing 4 p.m. wine and conversation group.

The family thanks the staff at Fairhaven and the Fort Atkinson Hospital for their professionalism and compassion in caring for Doris.

Arrangements have been made by Nitardy Funeral Home of Whitewater.

On Thursday, at the Congregational Church, 133 S. Franklin St., Whitewater viewing at 10 a.m., service at 11 a.m., luncheon at noon, burial at Hillside Cemetery, Palmyra at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Fairhaven Foundation, the Palmyra Historical Society, or the Congregational UCC Church of Whitewater.


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