Mary Franklin Jones, 97, of Durham died Monday, January 9, 2017 at her residence at The Forest at Duke.
Mary was born in Norfolk, VA on April 6, 1919 to the late Luther and Ada Franklin. She grew up in Stem, NC, graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in Home Economics and Science, and taught Home Economics in Denton, Sanford, and Durham, NC prior to her marriage. In 1946, she and Captain (later Lt. Colonel, Retired) James Thompson Jones, US Air Force, married at Duke University Chapel. They were devoted to each other throughout their 35-year marriage and traveled widely during his military career. They lived on or near bases in Germany (twice), Turkey, Virginia, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Goldsboro, NC, and after he retired, settled in Durham in 1965.
Mary loved to teach, and her students loved learning from her. While living overseas, she taught occasionally in the American schools for dependent children. After settling in Durham, she taught for 18 years in the Durham City Schools, primarily at Durham High School where she chaired the Science Department, advised the National Honor Society, and instructed hundreds of students in Advanced Biology and Oceanography. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Women Educators.
In 1993 Mary moved from Durham’s Forest Hills neighborhood to The Forest at Duke where she was among their earliest residents and enjoyed their many travel, bridge, social and volunteer activities. She was a member of the Congregation at Duke University Chapel and its Lectionary Bible Study, and a former member of Duke Memorial United Methodist Church and its Minnie P. Gates class. She also belonged to the Durham Woman’s Club and the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement. In her later years, she particularly delighted in spending time with family and friends, reading mysteries, discussing politics, and cheering UNC basketball.
She is survived by her three daughters, Carol J. (and husband Dr. Kumar) Mohan of Clovis, CA; Susan J. Dillingham of Rock Hill, SC; and Dr. Marcie J. (and husband Dr. Stephen) Hursting of Chapel Hill; two granddaughters, Catherine Dillingham of Falls Church, VA, and Laurie Hursting of Chapel Hill; a sister, Minnie Mae Franklin of Durham; and six nieces and two nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband; an infant son; a sister, Rhea Franklin Roth; and two brothers, John Franklin and Tommie Franklin.
A memorial service and reception will be held Friday, January 13, 2017 at 10:30 am at The Forest at Duke Auditorium, 2701 Picket Road, Durham. A graveside service will follow at the Chestnut Ridge United Methodist Church Cemetery, Efland. The Rev. Dr. Carol Gregg will officiate services. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to The Congregation at Duke University Chapel.