Lois Lilly Jones, 81

History buff, gardener

April 01, 2007

Lois Lilly Jones, a history buff who helped establish an essay contest for high school students to foster an appreciation of Maryland's past, died in her sleep Thursday in her Guilford home. She was 81.

Mrs. Jones provided topics for the essay contest sponsored by the Maryland Colonial Society. Students across the state were encouraged to write based on the theme Mrs. Jones had chosen. The essays were judged on Maryland Day by the state archivist and the director of education for the Maryland State Archives.

Mrs. Jones was a former president of the society, a nonprofit group devoted to fostering an understanding of the state's Colonial history.

FOR THE RECORD - An obituary in Sunday's editions for Lois Lilly Jones incorrectly reported her birthplace. She was born in Baltimore. Also, the article should have mentioned that three days before Jones died on Thursday at age 81, she was awarded the Calvert Medal for her devotion to Maryland history, including an essay contest and scholarship she started 25 years ago. She was given the award at Maryland Day festivities by Edward C. Papenfuse, the Maryland state archivist, on behalf of the Friends of the Maryland State Archives. The Sun regrets the errors.

"My mother believed that history was not just a bunch of stories about dead white guys, but that [it] was a celebration of everything that makes us collectively who we are," said her son, Frank Shriver Jones Jr. of Pasadena.

Born Lois Lilly on Sept. 11, 1925, in Philadelphia, she grew up in Baltimore, where her father was athletic director at the Polytechnic Institute.

She graduated from Notre Dame Preparatory School in 1943 and attended the College of Notre Dame of Maryland until her sophomore year, when her father died and she began work as an executive secretary in law and advertising firms to help support her family, Mr. Jones said.

She met Frank Shriver Jones at a pre-race party for the Maryland Hunt Cup and married him in 1951.

An avid gardener, she was a former president of the Guilford Association, which oversees the planting of thousands of tulip bulbs at Sherwood Gardens, her son said.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at SS. Philip and James Roman Catholic Church in Charles Village.

Mrs. Jones is also survived by three daughters, Michele Naish of Butler, Marsha Chodnicki of Finksburg and Hilary O'Connor of Baltimore; a brother, William Lilly of Towson; and seven grandchildren.

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