Life Story Visitation
Life Story Services
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Laramie County Community College Foundation.
1400 East College Drive
Cheyenne, WY 82007
Donations may be directed to Ret. MSGT Jerald A Jones Memorial Scholarship.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Evelyn “Sue” Sweeden Jones lived a life devoted to her family. She didn’t say much, so it wasn’t always easy to know what she was really thinking--until her older years, then she said what she thought!--but her selflessness was apparent to everyone who knew her. She was always ready to do whatever needed to be done to help her family, no matter what the situation. She was the embodiment of kindness, thoughtfulness, and self-sacrifice.
Sue was born in Keystone, Oklahoma in 1933 and was nearly named “Ninamae” because her birth date was May 9. Her brother couldn’t pronounce “Evelyn” so “Sue” it was and always remained. In fact when she was married and had to put her full legal name on the marriage license, it was the first time Phil, her new husband whom she’d dated for three years, found out her first name was Evelyn.
Her first four years were spent in Oklahoma until the family moved to Iowa. They settled in south-central Iowa where Sue’s growing up years were spent. There were many moves, different houses and schools, and little stability. Those years were difficult, but this is where her compassion and kindness were borne out in taking care of her younger siblings. She had a good example though from her older siblings: she often told of the times her brother Ross would carry her home from school when she’d lost one of her shoes. The family couldn’t afford to buy another pair, so one shoe it was until enough money could be had to buy more. From this scarcity Sue’s generosity took root. She always made sure her family had what they needed.
Even in the midst of hardship, her love for mischief and laughter remained. She used to tell the story of her and a friend locking a schoolmate who was “not nice” in the outhouse. When the teacher found out, no one got in trouble… it turned out the teacher agreed the girl deserved what she got. That is probably the “worst” that Sue ever did in retaliation. She was more interested in having fun and trying to make the best of any situation. This carried over to her own family, as there are many stories and memories of Sue’s silliness. In fact, her children describe her as a goofball, and all remember times of uncontrollable laughter spent with their mom.
Sue was working at Kittermans restaurant in Albia, Iowa and was often teased by Philip Jones, who delivered groceries to Kittermans. The teasing paid off though, and after dating for three years they married on June 16, 1958. Peg, Mike, and Jerry were all born before Sue and Phil moved from southern to eastern Iowa, specifically Iowa City, where Phil finished college and daughter Paula was born. Then the family moved to Cedar Rapids, where Evan and Darcy were born. Through those years Sue worked at a variety of jobs from restaurants to factory work, and as a cook in the local hospital.
It’s hard to know if Sue’s cooking skills landed the hospital job or if she learned good cooking at the job, but make no mistake, she used to fix some great meals. Family favorites were chicken and homemade noodles over mashed potatoes and rabbit pie (with meat provided by Phil and the boys, who were hunters). Even in the lean days, Sue would make a “meal” from scones, which were so good warm with melted butter and the black raspberry jelly she used to make. She’d make a great pot of potato soup and delicious fried chicken. Another family favorite was a beef roast with potatoes and carrots. There were also the holiday traditional meals of Christmas Eve oyster stew and Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. But even with these great meals, Sue would be happiest with a bologna sandwich and a Pepsi. Give her a good book to read while she ate and she was all set!
The kids learned some good life lessons from Sue, particularly “look under something” if you can’t find what you lost. She had an amazing skill to find whatever someone couldn’t. She was a hard worker and didn’t shy away from doing anything! Cleaning up nasty things (use your imagination!), shooting critters who got into her garden, cleaning out the flooded basement, burning dead tree branches and leaves, on and on the list goes. Her favorite things to do besides reading were gardening, out of which the entire family received the bounty, and in her later years, quilting. Every adult “child” received a quilt, and whenever a grandchild or great-grandchild joined the family, they got a quilt too. She also enjoyed video games and her grandkids have great memories of playing Nintendo along with her. Sue took up photography in her later years and the family gets to enjoy her wildlife pictures, particularly the birds in the back yard that she and Phil loved to watch. She passed down a love of gardening and bird watching to many in her family.
Phil recalls that Sue told him the house on two acres in Paw Paw, Michigan, was “home” the first time they looked at it. The family moved in there when Darcy was a baby, and there Sue spent her remaining years--nearly half her life. She loved spending time in the garden, mowing the lawn with her tractor, tending the chickens, puttering around “out back,” planting trees, and home was always her favorite place to be. For years Sue & Phil also went to “the cabin” up north on the Au Sable River. In later years this became a twice a year trip. Phil would fly fish and Sue would read. When the family could join, there would be taco salad, shining for deer, watching the eagles, and rowdy games of Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary. Even at home not doing anything in particular, Phil just liked knowing that Sue was “there”. Her presence brought him joy.
As mentioned, until her later years Sue tended to keep her thoughts to herself. Even when she was “getting after” the kids, she didn’t have to say much other than give the look. Darcy recalls that Mom’s discipline was laughable, but her disappointment was crushing. Corporal punishment was not out of the question though, and more than one kid felt the sting of “the Teflon” on their backside. That is, until Darcy poked it through a hole in the wall of the house, never to be seen again. Sue loved being a grandma and would do anything for her grandchildren. The older grandkids have many good memories of playing out back, as each of them spent many days with Grandma--or Granny as they often called her--as babysitter. Sue got to meet several great-grandchildren too: what a legacy to leave. She will be remembered and missed with great love.
Sue Jones, age 88, a long time resident of Paw Paw, died on Wednesday Oct. 20, 2021. Sue is survived by her husband Philip: children Peg (Garth) Weaver, Mike (Kathy) Jones, Melonie Jones, Paula (Tony) Coston, Evan Jones, and Darcy (Jay) Sobel; ten grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren; a sister, Wanda Fenton; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son Jerry, in 2007; grandson Jim, in 2013; six siblings.
Please join us at Life Story Visitation on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 5-7pm, at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home. 60900 M-40 Hwy. Paw Paw.(269) 657-3870. Life Story Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, Oct. 28, 10:00 am at the same location.
Visit Sue’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite stories, photos, and sign the guest book. Memorial contributions may be made to the Laramie County Community College Foundation: Retired MSGT Jerald A. Jones Memorial Scholarship.