Oklahoma Baptist University

OBU Professor Emerita Shirley Jones Dies April 30

Dr. Shirley J. Jones, Oklahoma Baptist University professor emerita of English, died April 30 in Shawnee following a lengthy illness. She was 68.

Born Oct. 17, 1936, in McAlester, she was the daughter of James W. and Brookie Mae Jones. She was a graduate of Midwest City High School and received the B.A. degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, the M.A. degree from Cornell University, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma. She received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for her study at Cornell.

Dr. Jones taught English, Latin, and French at Jarman Junior High School in Midwest City and then worked as a teaching assistant in English at OU before joining the OBU faculty in 1964. In addition to her teaching duties during 37 years at OBU, she served as chairman of the Department of English and as chairman of the Division of Language and Literature. She held the position of vice president for academic affairs from 1983-86. She was twice elected chairman of the OBU Faculty Council and she served as faculty marshal.

In 1990, Dr. Jones was installed as the Crouch-Mathis Professor of Literature, OBU’s only endowed academic position in English. She received OBU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1983, and OBU’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2003. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Lambda Delta, Mortar Board, and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Dr. Jones served as a member and as chairman of the Pioneer Multi-County Library Board, and she was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, serving as president of the local chapter, 1980-82. She was active in the Silverbacks book discussion club.

She was a member of Shawnee’s First Baptist Church and its sanctuary choir. She began breeding and showing Basenji dogs in 1961, winning numerous honors. She recently was voted a Life Member of the Basenji Club of America.

Survivors include her sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Michael P. Foster, Seaside, Ore.; her Basenjis, Dekkar, Hoover, Maggie, and Bounce; and many friends.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 4, at the First Baptist Church of Shawnee. Officiating are Dr. Mack Roark, Dr. Paul Calmes, and J.C. Farrand. Arrangements are under the direction of Walker Funeral Service. Memorial gifts may be made to Oklahoma Baptist University, Attn: Development Office, 500 W. University, Shawnee, Okla. 74804.

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