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Lyda Margaret Jones, 84, of Midland, passed away at home surrounded by family on January 6, 2021. She was born to the late Stanley and Lyda May (Roberts) Sullivan on March 31, 1936. On June 7, 1958 she married Ronald (Ron) Jones and they were blessed with 62 wonderful years together.


Lyda grew up on Pierson Road in northwest Detroit. She attended Detroit Public Schools through Eighth grade and attended High School at St Mary Academy in Monroe, Michigan. She went on to graduate from the University of Michigan with a bachelors degree in Botany and Bacteriology in 1957 and from Central Michigan with a masters degree in Library Science. 


Lyda and her family moved from Ann Arbor to Saginaw Michigan in 1960, where daughters Peggy and Penny attended Douglas McArthur High School. Peggy Graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1982, and Penny graduated from Michigan State University in 1984.


Lyda taught Science and Math at Shields Junior High School in the Swan Valley school district until retirement circa 1990. She was adored, admired and respected by all of her students and colleagues.


In addition to being an exceptionally talented educator, Lyda was also a highly accomplished quilter and seamstress, making everything from heirloom blankets to sport jackets for Ron to school clothes for Peggy and Penny. Her beautiful needle pint work was exquisitely executed.


In 1966, Ron’s parents gave Peggy and Penny Snow skis for Christmas, and that resulted in Lyda performing National Ski Patrol Duties at Bintz Apple Mountain for nearly two decades and performing gate keeping duties on the hills of Sugarloaf and Boyne Mountain; while the girls became accomplished Alpine Ski Racing Competitors in the Central Division of the National Ski Racing Association.


Lyda was a prolific reader of novels, most notably James Patterson. Her NOOK was always close by during the year, and the latest hard covered versions were never far from her reading chair at Christmas. She also enjoyed researching her family genealogy and was accomplished in the art of calligraphy.


When she wasn’t teaching, sewing, reading or skiing, Lyda was cooking the next scrumptious meal for the family, or making another batch of Christmas Cookies for the girls.


Lyda and Ron spent their Honeymoon on Lake Leelanau in 1958, and subsequently spent their retirement years in Midland’s Sturgeon Woods- and summers in their cottage on the shores of Lake Leelanau in Leelanau’s Rustic Resort.


Lyda dearly loved her Golden Retrievers.  She started with a puppy from a backyard breeder, then soon moved on to Field Bred Goldens.  After putting the dogs through basic obedience, she moved on to “Hunting Retriever” competition.  Topbrass Kelly, My Irish Mist was her pride and joy in the early 90’s.  In 2014, she picked “Eldorado’s Jak ‘O Hearts” (Jak) from a litter of ten puppies from Wisconsin, and he has been her constant companion (day and night) for the past 6 years.  In retrospect, she agreed that he probably picked her.  No doubt, they will re-unite in heaven.


Lyda dearly loved her family, and cherished every moment together with her daughters and her beloved younger sister Carol.


Lyda is survived by her husband, Ronald Harry Jones, daughters, Margaret “Peggy” Wysocki, Penny Kaligian and husband Chris, sister, Carol Nette. Along with her parents she was predeceased by her brother, Jack O’dell Sullivan, DDS.


A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, January 11, 2021 at Smith-Miner Funeral Home with Rev. Leonard Clevenger officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 10 am until the time of service. Burial will take place at Memorial Gardens in Traverse City, MI.


Those planning an expression sympathy are asked to consider First United Methodist Church.


Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Jones family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.



Condolence Messages

  1. Ed and Joan Birrell

    09 January 2021 7 months ago

    Our deepest sympathy to the Jones family.

  2. Michael Weathers

    08 January 2021 7 months ago

    One of my favorite teachers and people while in school–understood personal space and ideas. Never will forget her kindness.

  3. Ellis Howard

    08 January 2021 7 months ago

    A great colleague!

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