Mary Helena “Helen” Callaghan Jones was born on May 18, 1922, and died on January 10. She was 98.
The longtime resident of Pacific Palisades was born the youngest of nine sisters and brothers of the late Denis and Rose Callaghan in Corbyville, Ontario, Canada, on her family’s farm. As a girl, Helen attended a one-room schoolhouse, pitched in on the farm chores, and received love and kindness from her large family. As a teenager she met her future husband, Edgar Allan “Ted” Jones, Jr., when he spent summers with Canadian cousins on a nearby farm. Following in her sisters’ steps, she became a nurse in Kingston graduating second in her class.
On September 15, 1945, Helen and Ted married in Corbyville, a union that would last 68 years. They moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to raise a family where Ted attended law school at the University of Virginia. Upon graduation, Helen and Ted moved their growing family of four children west to the Pacific Palisades in 1951, where he began teaching at the new UCLA School of Law.
In the years that followed, Helen raised a large family, becoming the proud mother of 11 children. Helen’s life centered around her faith, family and friends. Helen believed in the power of prayer and charity. She attended daily Mass and volunteered in her community with Meals on Wheels. As a couple, Helen and Ted engaged in intellectual and spiritual inquiry befriending, supporting and seeking guidance from theologian Hans Kung, Cardinal Peter Poreku Dery Tamale of Ghana and Father Vincent Martin of Saint Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, California, among others.
Helen loved to garden, delighted in classical music concerts, was an avid reader, enjoyed receiving and arranging flowers, and was a master at creating delicious meals for her family. She was willing to innovate, testing out new recipes on her children when her husband was out of town. Helen enjoyed life and you could find her out on the dance floor with Ted whenever the opportunity arose. She made friends in all aspects of her life, including church, school, her neighborhood and her husband’s work. Helen traveled worldwide with her husband and close friends. She was a remarkable woman, much loved by all who knew her.
Helen is survived by her 11 children: Linda (Gil) Limón, Anne Hacker, Carol (Steve) Sims, Terry (Suzanne), Denis (Vicki), Bob (Tina), David (Anne), Therese, Catherine Desmond, Nancy (Todd) Harrington, and Daniel (Janine), as well as 23 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Ted, Allen Hacker, Bill Desmond, and her eight brothers and sisters. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private graveside burial took place on February 23, officiated by Monsignor Liam Kidney of Corpus Christi Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Andrew’s Abbey Monks of Valyermo ministry, Development Office, P.O. Box 40, Valyermo, CA 93563 at saintandrewsabbey.com/Articles.asp?ID=269 or Meals on Wheels at mealsonwheelswest.org/donate.
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