Tributes paid to 'fun' and 'inspirational' Kenilworth woman

Mollie Jones, who has died aged 98
Mollie Jones, who has died aged 98

Tributes have been paid to a Kenilworth woman whose life was one of ‘fun, family, faith and fellowship.’

Mollie Jones, mother of five children, grand-mother of 12 and great-grandmother of seven, died on Monday May 21 aged 98.

Mollie with her late husband Derek

Mollie with her late husband Derek

And her family remembered her life fondly at a thanksgiving event on Saturday June 9 in Dorset, where Mollie spent the last years of her life as well as heading there on many family holidays.

Her grandson Austen Killingbeck-Jones, who grew up in Kenilworth, said: “She was such a positive influence on my life, never hesitating to pass on some of her wisdom, guide me in the right direction or make me laugh with her quick wit.

“I feel proud to have called her my grandmother.”

Mollie was born on December 6, 1919 in Ealing, London, and was the eldest of four children.

She did not excel academically at school, but was talented at several sports, especially lacrosse.

This led into her first job as a ‘games mistress’, or PE teacher, at a school in Stockton-on-Tees in 1941.

Two years later, she trained to become a physiotherapist and qualified in 1944.

She then secured posts at Northampton General, the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury, the RAF Hospital in Halton and, in 1946, the RAF Rehabilitation Unit at Mongewell Park, outside Wallingford.

It was there that she met her husband Derek Jones, who had been injured by a truck in Germany during the Second World War.

The couple married in 1947, and moved to Rouncil Lane in Kenilworth in 1954.

Mollie and Derek had five children: Shirley, Anthony, Gregory, Melanie and Rodney.

While her young family were growing up, Mollie worked as a part-time physiotherapist at both Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital and Heathcote Hospital in Warwick. She also worked at private practices in Kenilworth, Coventry and Leamington.

For over 60 years Mollie worshipped at St. Nicholas Church and supported life there in many ways, such as singing in the choir and as a Foundation Governor at St Nicholas Primary School.

She belonged to the Mothers’ Union and in 1989, became Coventry Diocese President, a post she held until 1994.

Visiting the Diocese of Central Zambia was a highlight and she was humbled by the hospitality and welcome.

Phil Highley OBE, who knew her well, said: “Mollie was nothing less than an inspiration to all who knew her. To sum her up in a word, I would say ‘indefatigable’.

“She was always cheerful and smiling, full of energy and ready for adventure, even into old age.”

Mollie was also renowned for her sense of fun, especially if dancing was involved.

She loved walking and Cornish holidays where, even in her eighties, she would surf in the sea every day.

Later, in Kenilworth, Mollie joined Curves gym and, into her nineties, would walk there and back, complete a 30-minute workout and still have energy for
other activities.

In June 2016, Mollie moved into The Hyde care home, just outside Bridport, Dorset, where she died peacefully on Monday May 21, surrounded by close family members.