Leona Rudd Jones, age 90, of Shawnee, died Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, at a local nursing home.
Leona Jones was born Sept. 30, 1925, at Avoca Township, Asher, to Henry Lee Neal and Mamie Eliza (Hardin) Neal; and entered heaven's gates on Sept. 3, 2016.
She grew up in the Wanette area and graduated from Wanette High School in 1943.
After graduation from high school, Leona traveled to Washington, DC, doing clerical work for the U.S. War Department during World War II. While there, she met Albert M. Rudd who was in the US Navy, stationed at the shipyards. They were married by a Navy Chaplain on Aug. 20, 1944.
After Albert's Navy tour, they moved to his home state of Georgia, where he worked as a mechanic at Lockheed Georgia Aircraft Plant in Marietta, Georgia. They had two children: son, Michael, and daughter, Ruth Anne.
In early 1965, the family moved to Wanette. Albert had a welding and steel fabricating business and was also a beekeeper. Albert and Leona placed bee hives all over the area to produce honey and to pollinate the flowers. Leona loved to work in the garden, raising strawberries and all types of vegetables.
Albert Rudd was killed in an automobile accident in October 1977. In December 1978, Leona married Jack Skinner. Jack passed away in September 1995. She married Frank Jones in July 1997. Frank passed away in January 2010. At that time, Leona moved to Shawnee and lived with her son Michael and daughter-in-law, Linda Rudd. Leona later moved to Sterling House (Brookdale Assisted Living) in Shawnee, where she loved to play the piano for the residents.
Leona was a member of Wanette First Baptist Church for 45 years until she moved to Shawnee in 2010. She loved the Lord and served in her church as pianist, organist, Sunday school teacher, and Vacation Bible School teacher. After moving to Shawnee, she joined Temple Baptist Church.
Leona was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was generous with her time, her talents and her financial support for those who needed them.
Leona was preceded in death by her parents, her three husbands, her daughter, Ruth Anne Hillebrand, her brother, James Neal, and her sister, Princess Reed.
Those left to cherish her memory are her son Michael A. Rudd and wife Linda; brother, Victor Neal; grandson, Travis Rudd; granddaughter, Carrie (Rudd) McBride and husband Brian; and great-grandson, Ian Parry.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 8, at Temple Baptist Church in Shawnee, with Rev. Mike Craig officiating. Interment will follow at Wanette Cemetery, Wanette. Services are under the direction of Walker Funeral Service, Shawnee.
A special thanks to the staff of Brookdale Assisted Living, Colonial Estates Nursing Home and Valir Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Temple Baptist Church benevolence fund, Temple Baptist Church bus fund, or The Gideons International.
Walker Funeral Service, Shawnee, is in charge of arrangements.