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Pat Jones, the "Prairie Godmother" Passes Away

Edward Jones is sad to announce the passing of Pat Jones, a legendary figure at the firm and in the state of Missouri.

Mrs. Jones, 93, who had been in hospice care at her home in Williamsburg, MO, passed away on Dec. 17, surrounded by those who loved her. Mrs. Jones was the widow of Ted Jones, the visionary behind the Edward Jones' one-financial-advisor-branch-office business model and a conservationist who turned an abandoned railroad into a state park.

"Our firm lost part of its heart and soul today," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Jim Weddle. "Pat Jones was an integral and important part of who we are today."

Pat and Ted first met in high school on an organized bicycle trip in the Ozarks. Pat graduated from the University of Missouri, College of Agriculture in 1950. That same year, Ted and Pat married. They moved to Mr. Jones' family farm in 1954.

The couple shared an intense love of nature and a keen interest in conservation. The two spent much of their married life on the 700-acre farm that Ted’s father, Edward Jones Sr., bought in Callaway County, Mo., in the early 1930s. Thanks to Ted and Pat Jones' generosity, the Missouri Conservation Commission now owns the farm, where Pat continued to live and work following the death of her husband in 1990.

Ted Jones also recognized the potential to turn a 225-mile stretch of abandoned railroad into a magnificent state park. He was a generous donor and force behind the creation of Missouri's Katy Trail, which is now a segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the American Discovery Trail, and was inducted into the national Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Because of his efforts, the trail now attracts 400,000 hikers, cyclists and joggers each year.

Mrs. Jones, who People magazine dubbed the "Prairie Godmother," enjoyed tracking the Missouri Conservation Commission's progress toward the long-term goal of restoring hundreds of acres of native prairie. The farm, along with its numerous examples of outstanding conservation practices, is the destination of many grade-school field trips, which was a  source of great pleasure for Mrs. Jones.

"I get to tell the kids the most important thing is to learn, get dirty and have fun!" Mrs. Jones would say.

Mrs. Jones' background is nearly as impressive as her personality. Her father, Truman Post Young, was a partner in the St. Louis law firm Thompson, Mitchell, Thompson & Young. Her mother, Hilda Jamieson, was the daughter of an architect who helped design Washington University. Her parents lived in the city but loved the country, a trait they passed on to their daughter.

A celebration of life to be held later in spring has yet to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Friends of Ted and Pat Jones, Conservation Federation of Missouri, 728 W Main St, Jefferson City, MO 65101, attn: Pat Jones  or Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, attn: Prairie Fork, P.O. Box 366, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

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