Keeping Up With the Jones Girls – Revisited Again!

By: Glenda Lofton, Ph.D.

Jun 29, 2021

In 2001, not long after I started writing monthly articles for Lagniappe, I wrote an article about the "four Jones Girls" as they came to be known, who grew up literally in the backwoods of Winn Parish: Elois, now 100; my mom, Hazel, who the others are still mad at because she died at 91; Eileen 96, and LaVerne, 94. In 1927 when the girls were only 7, 5, 3, and 3 months, their dad, an ambitious young man who owned the first Model T car in the area, was clearing his land to build a new house when he hit his leg on the plow, and died from blood poisoning. A simple shot of penicillin – something we all take for granted today – would have cured him.  Life was not easy for the Jones Girls, but as the youngest, my Aunt LaVerne, often reminds me, "You didn't get any poorer than we were, but we all learned to read.”  Fortunately, faith in God, integrity, perseverance, work ethic, caring and a sense of humor are priceless! Their wooden house, like most back then, had no electricity or running water, and had an outdoor toilet.  There was a country store within walking distance, as well as a school, a few neighbors, and a church that passed on to them the same deep, abiding faith in God that was passed on to me, and my children, Bret and Bart.


Despite a tough life growing up, Elois graduated from high school, and thanks to two uncles who drove her there, she attended Baylor Nursing School in Dallas.  She married one of her first patients – who also overcame a poor background to become Assistant Secretary of the Dr. Pepper Industry – and worked as a school nurse until her mid-nineties. My mom, Hazel, and my dad married right out of high school, and Dad, despite a severe head injury in WWII, attended Northwestern College in Natchitoches to become a teacher and coach.  Eileen attended business school in Shreveport, helped take care of me in WWII, and married a man from Sarepta, LA.  He had also served in the war and started a service station, store, and washateria after they married. And LaVerne, the youngest Jones girl, also attended Northwestern in Natchitoches and was one of the most popular girls on campus.  Later she, like her sister, Elois, would move to Dallas, marry an attorney who had served in WWII, and later move to Denver.  Sadly, all of the husbands have since passed away, and my mom, Hazel, passed away at 91. (Her sisters are still mad at her! She was too young to act like that!) And sadly, my two daughters-in-law, Michelle and Cindy, no longer have family living other than siblings.  Because we had all been invited to Aunt Elois' 100th birthday which had to be called off because of the pandemic, Michelle had the idea for the three of us to travel to Dallas to visit Aunt Elois, her family, and some of Aunt LaVerne's children who still live there.  We picked up Aunt Eilleen, who still lives in Sarepta, and spent a memorable day with lots of love and delicious food provided by all!


Even in their 90's the Jones Girls and their descendants continue to model a key principle on which Lofton Staffing was founded--we are all called to serve.  As servant leaders, we lead not from positions of power but from who we are and what we do; we treat others the way we want to be treated; help others grow; inspire others to action (sometimes by outshining them just a bit); and help others to be better.  Are you "keeping up with the Joneses"?


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today


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