Miriam Conner Jones
December 7, 1929 – June 8, 2018
Miriam Conner Jones died June 8, 2018, at home surrounded by family. She was 88 years old.
Mimi was born and raised in Atlanta, GA on Lullwater Road near Emory University. Her parents were Dr. Thomas Conner of Como, MS, and Miriam Sneed Conner of Nashville, TN.She attended both Druid Hills Elementary and High Schools before moving to Nashville for college at Vanderbilt University. There she earned a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a teaching certificate from the Peabody School. Mimi was a member of the Tri Delta Sorority and she also sang in the A Cappella choir.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Milnor Jones; a son, Cyril William Jones, III, of Hilton Head Island, SC; a sister, Ruth Conner Fristoe (Billy) of Atlanta, GA; and a brother, Dr. Thomas Conner, Jr. (Peggy).
She is survived by two daughters: Miriam C. Jones of Manchester, CT; and Camille Jones Turner (Donald) of Nashville, TN; and a son, Jonathan Milnor Jones (JoAnn) of Memphis, TN. She has 5 grandchildren: Miles and Emma De Grandi; Cyril Turner; and Paul & Andrew Jones, in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.
Mimi moved to Athensin 1953 after marriage. She taught high school history for a few years, then left her profession to stay at home with her children. She joined St. Paul’s Episcopal Church but retained her strong Methodist heritage, which lead her to wage a years-long campaign to eliminate the Sanctuary Light behind the altar.
In the 1980s Mimi underwent a political and social transformation and joined the Democratic Party. But she was no ordinary Democrat: Mimi was an unabashed, unadulterated, unapologetic ,no-holds-barred, “yellow dog” Democrat who passionately supported the local party, its candidates and a host of social justice issues ranging from healthcare and women’s rights to the environment. Her passion to serve in the Athens community led her to join the board of directors for the original Hiawassee Mental Health Center. She alsofought for clean water by leading protests opposed to the hazardous waste storage facility near the Athens water supply. During the Iraq Wars, she stood on the steps of the courthouse and protested in the name of peace.
Mimi was a devoted wife, loving mother to her children, and a cherished friendto many in the Athens community. She was a three-time cancer survivor, although she gave up a kidney and half of a lung to beat it. In her spare time, she loved gardening, especially her herb garden and her bed of kale, not to mention her zinnias and roses, which she proudly raised chemical-free.She also was an avid bird- watcher, she loved to travel, and she was a voracious reader who regularly attended book club meetings at the E.G. Fisher Library.As a fan of music and theater, Mimisaw many talented performers over the years, including Itzhak Perlman, Nat King Cole, Leonard Bernstein, Renee Fleming, Frank Sinatra,Mary Martin (both as Peter Pan and in South Pacific) and Sandy Duncan as Peter Pan. She also fondly recalled meeting in person Paul Newman, Rock Hudson, Ronald Reagan and Lamar Alexander.
The family would like to thank the following for their love and support of Mimi these last few years: the nurses, caregivers and staff at the Brookdale Cumberland community in Nashville; Alive Hospice of Nashville; and the wonderful team of caregivers at All About Care.
A celebration of Mimi’s life begins with a visitation Friday, June 22 at 10am in the Fellowship Hall atSt. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 123 S. Jackson Street, Athens, TN 37303, (423) 745-2224.The memorial and graveside services will follow immediately after the visitation.
Donations may be made to the charity of your choice, or to: St.Paul’s Episcopal Church, POBOX 326, Athens, TN 37371;E.G. FisherPublic Library, 1289 Ingleside Avenue, Athens, TN, 37303; Athens Area Council of the Arts, 320 N. White Street, Athens, TN 37303; McMinn County Living Heritage Museum, 372 W. Madison Avenue, Athens, TN 37303; or your local Democrats.
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