Juneau resident Eileen Jones died peacefully at her home Dec. 28, 2007, after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 52.
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She was born Jan. 11, 1955, in Butte, Mont., to Lean and Gladys McLean. In 1971, she joined family in Southeast Alaska. She met and married Dewey Jones in Juneau, where they made their home with their parrots, Harvey and Pospartou.
She showed an exceptional passion at a young age to explore and learn new talents, quickly mastering any challenge she set before herself. At a very young age she instructed family and friends in a local knitting club. She loved riding and training horses.
She worked for the state of Alaska, retiring after 30 years of service.
Her greatest passion and adventure was working with rocks and gems, and making jewelry. Her favorite place was her workshop where she created her own lapidary (stone) designs.
Her family said she came from a large family of "rock hounds," with seven brothers and sisters. Her father worked as a hard rock miner for more than 30 years while the family enjoyed summers prospecting for gold in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Montana.
She enjoyed a wide variety of hobbies, including sewing, woodworking, boating and gardening. Her love of nature and fascination for rocks led her to develop her skills as a lapidary artist with the Juneau Artists Gallery. Her family, young and old, delighted in bringing her rocks found in their travels.
She loved animals. There wasn't a bird, squirrel or neighborhood dog that didn't know where she lived, her family said. She will be sadly missed by her many friends and family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, grandmother Amanda Hedin, and nephews Jerry D'Arcy and Pat McLean.
She is survived by her husband, Dewey Jones; step-children, Toni Hoffman, Ron Jones, Kathy Carson, Brian Jones, Terry Jones and Greg Jones; siblings, Leroy McLean and his wife, Betty, Earl McLean, June Robbins and her husband, Mickey, Laura D'Arcy and her husband, Jerry, Carol Gundstrom and her husband, Gary, Glenn McLean and Gayle McLean; special friend of 30 years, Mellen Duffy; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Per her wishes, there will be no formal services held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau.