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Dorothy M. "Dottie" Jones

June 14, 1925 ~ March 27, 2022 (age 96)

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Dorothy Marshall Jones died peacefully at home on March 27, 2022, at the age of 96. She lived a long life filled with family, friends, books, football, travel, and the beach. She had a sharp mind and good sense of humor until the very end.

Dottie was born on June 14, 1925, in Houston, Texas, to Almeda Greer and William Beatty Marshall. She and her younger brother, Jack, grew up in a happy family that valued hard work and quick wit. She enjoyed riding the bus downtown with her friend Loraine to watch movies on Saturdays, or camping with her family on Galveston beaches in the wooden trailer that her father, a general contractor, had built to pull behind the family car. Living in the oak-shaded neighborhood north of the Rice Campus, Dottie attended local public schools before moving on to Rice Institute (University), graduating in 1945 with a BA in English.

As Vice-President of her sophomore class at Rice, she became friends with T. Robert Jones, the class President. They married in the fall after graduation while he was on leave from the Navy, and stayed true to each other for more than 71 years of marriage, separated by his death in 2017. Their first home was in San Diego where Bob was the Deck Officer for the U.S.S. Edmonds. At the conclusion of WWII in the Pacific, they moved to Harlingen where they joined the First Methodist Church and he took over his father's business, R. N. Jones Agency.

Harlingen was their home for the rest of their lives, interrupted only by a two year stint when Bob was recalled to the Navy for the Korean War in 1951. By that time they had two daughters, Cynthia and Marilyn. Dottie moved with the girls to Houston to be near her parents for a year, then the family reunited in Hawaii for a year, living near the Pearl Harbor Naval Base.

Dottie was a loving, devoted mother, engaged in her girls' school and extracurricular activities. She formed close friendships with neighbors, fellow members of the Junior League Service, a bridge club for couples, a dance club—which partied more than danced—, and the Cameron County Republican Party. In recent years, she was dismayed that the national Party had moved away from the moderate values she embraced.

She continued as an avid reader throughout her life, reading hundreds of books on her Kindle in recent years. And she raised avid readers. In 1969, she and her close friend Marjorie Flory spread their love of literature to the community by opening the Bookmark, Harlingen's only independent bookstore. It was first located next to the Lemon Tree, owned by their friend Charlotte Kuppinger, and later moved to a larger space in the El Mercado Center. The store carried a wide selection of books and attracted a loyal following of readers in the Valley.

A friend said that her family always felt like a welcomed guest in Dottie’s book home.

With an empty nest, Dottie and Bob began traveling more frequently, exploring the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and South America. They bought a condo on South Padre Island and expanded their circle of friends. They co-founded the popular restaurant Scampi's on the bayside, and spent many treasured weekends watching the sunset from there or the moon rising over the gulf from their front porch.

Dottie was also a wonderful grandmother, sharing with all five of her grandchildren her love of reading, letting them build extensive pillow houses, and was known to get on the floor with them when they were learning to crawl. During the pandemic, she was delighted to welcome her youngest great-grandchild Avery, the only one of five great-grandchildren to live in Harlingen. Every visit from Avery made a great day!

The life she and Bob shared in the Valley was rich and rewarding. She was aware of her good fortune and very appreciative for it and all the friends and family that were integral to it.

Dottie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother John P. Marshall, her husband, and her friend Marjorie. She is survived by her daughters Cynthia Brown and Marilyn Jones, sons-in-law Sidney Brown and Brad Morris, grandchildren Catherine Granville (Steve), Derreck Brown (Maggie), Justin Brown (Laura), Calvin Morris (Ines Palaz), and Chris Morris (Brooke Moore), and her great-grandchildren Kai Granville, Margot Granville, Mackenna Brown, Dakota Brown, and Avery Brown.

She and the family are very grateful for the devoted long-term care she received from Francisca Muniz, Blanca Magallanes, and Elizabeth Howell.

The family held a private graveside service. Those wishing to make contributions in Dottie's memory can direct them to the Harlingen Public Library or the charity of their choice.

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