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home : obituaries : obituaries June 28, 2016

3/6/2013 12:29:00 PM
Marjorie May Kollenborn Jones

For over 37 years, Marge Jones was a legendary teacher at Vale Elementary School in Cashmere. She was accomplished, energetic, creative, and inspiring. Her first grade classroom was built around the mantra of The Little Engine That Could: "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." And her students did. They learned to believe in themselves, they learned to reach beyond themselves, they learned all the important basics of reading, and they never forgot Mrs. Jones.

Marge was also a source of inspiration to her colleagues, to student teachers, and to the high school students who worked as teacher-aides in her classroom over the years. More than a few of these students went on to become teachers themselves. Marge truly devoted her life to teaching; for her, teaching was not just a job, it was her passion. The great gift of having Mrs. Jones as a teacher was bestowed on hundreds of lucky children, and they are her legacy for the future.

Marjorie May Kollenborn was born to Cecil and Mildred Kollenborn on February 20, 1938, in Auburn, N.Y. The Kollenborns also had two sons, Don and Gordon. The Kollenborn family then moved to Scarborough Beach, Maine, where they lived until the end of the World War II. Cecil, an ordained Methodist minister, worked with various USOs, YMCAs, and churches. Next, the family moved to Klamath Falls, Ore., and then to Concord, Calif. After graduating from high school in Pleasant Hill, Marge attended College of the Pacific in California.

A friend in California introduced Marge to a handsome young orchardist from Cashmere, Wash.--Arthur "Jay" Jones. Marge and Jay fell in love, were married, and returned to Jay's home in Cashmere. After her arrival, Marge was immediately hired to teach at Vale Elementary School. Marge and Jay were married for 51 years, and theirs was a marriage of deep love, happy companionship, and shared enterprise. Jay was always ready to help Marge bring her ideas to life in her classroom--including the building of a train that ran along the length of her classroom, modeled after The Little Engine That Could. Jay helped Marge make her classroom truly extraordinary. Marge and Jay had two sons, Stephen and Michael, who benefited greatly from the encouragement, inspiration, and love bestowed upon them by Marge and Jay.

Marge is survived by her husband, Arthur Jay Jones; by her two sons, Stephen (and wife Pam) Jones and Michael Jones; by her brothers, Don Kollenborn and Gordon Kollenborn; by a special cousin, Erdene Hand; and by a host of admiring colleagues, former students, family members, and friends. Marge was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Mildred Kollenborn, and by her beloved grandson, Jayson Jones.

A Celebration of Life for Marge Jones will be held in the gymnasium of Vale Elementary School, 101 Pioneer Avenue, Cashmere, on Saturday, March 16, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Donations in Marge's memory may be made to the Cashmere Schools Foundation "Marge Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund." These donations may be sent to (or brought to) the Cashmere School District Administration Office, 210 S. Division Street, Cashmere, WA. 98815.

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