Julia McConnico Jones passed away at age 96 in her residence in Corsicana, Dec. 27, 2017, surrounded by family and caregivers.
Julia was born Aug. 13, 1921 in Kerens, where her parents ran McConnico's Meat Market from the 1920s through WWII. An only child, her love of animals and art began in elementary school to which her collie dog always followed her. She graduated from Kerens High School as the 1939 Valedictorian (and Queen of the May) for which she was awarded a scholarship to Baylor University to study Fine Art. However, in her sophomore year of 1941, Pearl Harbor and World War II interrupted her plans and Julia joined the military service.
Julia worked for the War Department in Washington D.C ., and then volunteered to be one of the first women in the United States Navy (WAVES.) She was assigned as a Naval Airforce Gunnery Instructor in both Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi. When WWII ended in 1946, Julia resumed her studies at the University of Houston, graduating in 1948. It was there that she met another veteran returning to college, Robert Dillon Jones, also a Navy vet. They were married in 1951, and she followed her husband's career assignments in the FBI to Boston, Orlando and Atlanta where their two sons Mark and Robert were born.
Rather than move with another assignment to New York, the family returned to Kerens in the early 1960s. Julia restored an old historic home, one of the first built in Kerens in the early 1880s, and she assisted her parents with the family cattle ranch. She also taught art lessons while her husband commuted to work in Dallas. She went on to work for several local businesses including the Kerens School District and the Corsicana Daily Sun newspaper. Julia also taught art at Frost High School in the 1990s, was an early organizer of the Navarro Council for the Arts, and contributed as a researcher, writer and collaborator of Navarro County history and genealogy.
Julia lived in her beloved Kerens home for 50 years, her favorite purple irises blooming each spring under her pecan trees. Moving to a retirement community in Corsicana in 2011, she made many new friends and hosted visits from long-time friends and family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Dillon Jones, and her parents, Roscoe McConnico and Helen Sherrill McConnico of Kerens.
She is survived by her two sons, Mark D. Jones and wife Barbara Speed Jones of Corsicana, and Robert R. Jones and wife Betsi Legrand Jones of Naples, Florida; her three granddaughters, Katherine Jones of Sanford, Flordia, Emily Jones of Tellahassee, Flordia, and Sherri Stearman and husband Patrick Stearman both of Corsicana, and and three great-grandchildren, Anna, Dillon, and Piper Stearman.
Julia's ashes will be buried at the Kerens Cemetery alongside her husband and four earlier generations of McConnico and Sherrill ancestors. A celebration of life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Kerens Ex-Students Association (KESA) Building, located at 102 SW Second St., Kerens, Texas 75144. All are welcome to stop in.
Published on January 3, 2018