Our loving mother, Barbara Jean Elkins Jones (Ruddy), left her earthly home in Pima, Arizona, and was reunited with the love of her life on Feb. 4, 2021, at the age of 83.
Barbara Jean Elkins was born Sept. 9, 1937, joining her older sister, Shirley, to Bonnie White Elkins. She later welcomed three brothers, Marcus, Shawn, and Jim Kimball Elkins.
Although her family lived in several different places because of the work her father, Viron Audley Elkins, did, she spent most of her youth in the Mesa/Tempe area. She attended Tempe High, where she made several lifelong friends. She graduated from Tempe High in 1956.
After graduating, she met the love of her life, Louis Cardon Jones, on a blind date. They married that same year and moved to Globe, Arizona, where Louis worked at a Standard Oil station. They soon started a family; first a son, Randal Wade, and then a daughter, Leslie Elaine. Mom and dad moved to Show Low, Arizona, after purchasing their first business, a Chevron gas station there. They had four more children, Melinda Diane, Duane Michael, Sam Douglas, and Carol Lynn. Mom had many part-time jobs to help supplement the family’s income while raising six children.
In 1973, mom and dad sold the station and purchased a Sears Catalog Store. They worked side by side making the business a success. All the children worked in the family store. Mom was the heart of that store.
The family spent many weekends camping, picnicking, or chopping firewood for the winter. Mom loved to garden and at times had a winter garden in Pima and a summer garden in Show Low in the same year.
Mom loved her children, grandchildren, and especially her great-grandchildren. She was playful and fun. She attended as many games, matches, and events as she could.
But mom’s greatest legacy was her service to others. She fed many. She took in strangers who needed a place to sleep. She served anyone who was in need. Her faith in Christ and willingness to follow Him was manifested in her daily actions. Her love for others was as boundless as her energy. She and dad left a legacy of love that will be treasured and carried on for many generations to come.
Barbara lost her true love, Louis, in 1989. She is also preceded in death by her parents, Viron and Bonnie Elkins; her sister, Shirley, and brother-in-law, Jack Lydic; Jim’s wife, Betty; a younger brother, Marcus; her son, Randal, and several angelic great-grandchildren. She also lost two very good friends; her second husband, Clay Bass, and her third husband, Charles Ruddy. She lost her beloved in-laws, Harry and Florence Jones, and three wonderful brothers-in-law as well.
She is survived by two brothers, Shawn (Linda) Elkins, and Jim Elkins; her sister, Donita Plauman, and her beloved Aunt Mary. She is also survived by her children, Debra Jones (Randy deceased), Leslie Elaine (Troy) Overson, Melinda Diane (Ed) Shepherd, Duane Michael Jones, Sam Douglas (Rane) Jones, and Carol Lynn (Wally) Hicks. She leaves 26 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and numerous wonderful family members and friends.
A viewing will be held Friday, Feb. 12, at 12 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pima Stake Center, followed by the funeral service at 1 p.m. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13, in the Show Low Cemetery at 1 p.m. in Show Low, Arizona.
Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.