Mary V. Jones

Saturday, September 17, 2022
Mary V. Jones

Mary V. Jones passed away peacefully at her brother’s home in Great Falls on Sept. 1, 2022. Mary was the daughter of William and Ruth Van Hyning, born March 1, 1945, in San Diego, Calif.

The Van Hyning family moved to their ranch south of Lewistown on Casino Creek in 1946. Mary was a cheerleader at Fergus High, runner up in the Miss Montana contest in 1964 and graduated with a teaching degree from Eastern Montana College in Billings in 1966. She met her husband Jake Jones at Eastern and they were married on July 30, 1966, in Lewistown. They moved shortly to Gresham, Ore. Jake traveled from there to a chain of restaurants in the Northwest and Mary taught in the Gresham School district. They did not have any children and were divorced in 1973. They remained friends all their lives. Mary lived in Welches, Ore., a small community three miles below the summit of Mount Hood. She retired teaching at Gresham in 2001 and moved back to Lewistown. She went to work for the Friends of the Missouri River Breaks Monument in 2002 and was their coordinator for the next 10 years before retiring.

Mary led a very active life but started having memory difficulties in 2015, and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2018. After several hospital visits in Lewistown, her brother moved her to an assisted living facility in Great Falls. Her brother took her on walks every day and Sunday dinner at their home south of Great Falls. Simba, her cat, also came to Great Falls to live with Mary’s family. When the governor shut down all assisted living facilities on March 16, 2020, because of Covid, Mary moved into the Van Hyning family home where she remained until her death.

Mary always had trouble staying overnight at friends’ homes and they usually they had to bring her home no matter the distance. One of her lifelong friends Carol Ann (Hurley) Huffine had a ranch at Giltedge in the Judith Mountains. In third grade Mary went to ride horses with CarolAnn and stayed overnight. Everything was fine until about 3 a.m. when she had to go home. The grandparents took Mary back to Lewistown, but a spring snowstorm hit and they didn’t get back to the ranch for a week.

There will be a memorial service in Lewistown at a later date. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.