Paula Dee Jones, 83, of Lincoln, died in peace with family at her side in the Hospice Unit of Bryan Medical Center West on October 10, 2022.
Born August 10, 1939, in Rapid City, S.D., to Paul D. and Ruth (Wonder) Ragsdale. Her early childhood was spent in the Black Hills. She was tutored in First Grade at Mystic, S.D. Her family moved to Merna, Nebraska, in 1950 where her father was a Depot Agent for the Burlington Railroad and the family lived in the depot.
She graduated from Merna High School and entered the Bryan School of Nursing (Lincoln) in 1957. Upon her graduation from Bryan in 1960 she became a Ward Nurse at Nebraska State Hospital, Ingleside (Hastings). She returned to Lincoln to become a Clinical Nurse at Lincoln General Hospital. Paula and her husband adopted an infant girl, Jennifer Lynn Miles, in 1970. Paula left work to become a full-time mother and housewife. The family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1975. Paula and Jennifer moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1982 where she worked as Director of Nurses for a long-term care facility.
The Jones, although Nebraska raised, did not meet until living in Cape Girardeau and their girls were members of Jobs Daughters where Paula and John had roles as adult advisors. In 1985 she married John M. Jones and they began a new family with two teenage daughters, Jennifer Miles and Kelly Jones.
In that same year Paula accepted a position to establish a Home Health program for Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville, Missouri. While there she presented papers on the cholesterol screening program in place at Perry County Hospital to both a regional and a national nursing conference. In 1989 she helped established the hospice program at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Festus, Missouri. She went on to work in hospice care at Lutheran Hospital and Samaritan Care Hospice in St. Louis. She earned continuing education certification in Parish Nursing from The Deaconess Parish Nurse Program at Webster University, St. Louis, MO. The Seabury Institute of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and National Episcopal Health Ministries. As well as Bellarmine College and the Lansing School of Nursing. Louisville, KY. She was also a volunteer educator for the Alzheimer’s Association of St. Louis. In 2000 she was a Volunteer of the Year.
In 2008 they returned to Lincoln for their retirement years.
She was a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and was a member of St. Mary’s Guild, the Arts Guild, Altar Guild, and played in the Hand Bell Choir.
Paula and John enjoyed their travels from Washington, D.C., to Tucson and New Orleans to Lake Bel Taine, Minnesota and in between. Their trips were enhanced when they could go by rail. They were able to ride on well-known trains including The California Zephyr, The Capitol Limited, The City of New Orleans and The Pioneer. And, during their time living in Cape Girardeau they were volunteer crew members of a tourist steam train. Paula’s position on board was Train Chief.
Survived by husband, John M., of Lincoln; daughter Kelly Case (Derek) and grandchildren Emily and Evan Case, St. Louis; brother Jay Ragsdale (Dorothy) Oswego, Illinois; and two nephews.
She was proceeded in death by her parents and daughter Jennifer.
A Burial Service and Celebration of Life will take place at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 2325 S. 24th St. Lincoln, at 11 a.m. April 15, 2023. Lunch to follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to The Bryan Foundation Hospice Unit. 1600 S. 48th Street, Lincoln, NE 68506
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