In Memory

Linda Kathleen Jones (Allen)

Linda Kathleen Jones (Allen)

Linda Jones Allen’s daughter posted this beautiful  tribute  to her mother on her Facebook page.  Linda died on Thursday, April 13, 2023.  She had been on hospice for seven months.  There was no funeral.  She was cremated and her husband Dan and the four daughters will have their own memorial as they bury her ashes on their family acreage.


It is with full and heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear angel mother, Lia Kathleen Allen. She leaves a legacy of selfless service, wisdom, hard work, beauty, grace, humor, kindness, art, and love.

Her counsel, laughter, support, and tender thoughtfulness will be missed by our incredible father, Dan, who lovingly cared for her until her final breath, as well as her four daughters, Chelsea, Megan, Lindsay, and Erianne; her eleven grandchildren, Alyssa, Brandon, Melissa, Alexis, Mathew, Dane, Bryan, Braden, Alison, Aleah, and Lillian; her four great-grandchildren Lennox, Abel, Frankie, and Quinn; her sisters Cathy and Josie, and her dear friends who have been tremendous sources of joy and laughter throughout her beautiful life.

Our mother, like our father, did not believe in mediocrity.  She put her whole heart and soul into every individual, calling, and organization that she touched and left indelible marks on the world.  In her youth, she was a world-renowned athlete and dancer, traveling with the Rhythmettes and performing at the world's fair.  In college, she studied interior design and worked for a leading firm and taught at BYU.  As a member of the church, she served in every leadership capacity and embodied Christ-like charity to all she served.  As a mother, she masterfully created homes filled with love, learning, pursuits of excellence, healthy food, opportunities for education, and hard work.

In her 40s, she earned her master’s degree and began a second career in counseling where she poured her heart, love, and art into elementary school students earning the Child Advocate award for the State of Utah. When her parents’ health was ailing, she spent 12 years caring for them, passionately, stoically, and lovingly providing support and care.

Her final years were spent in the beauty and solitude of Aspen Cove, Utah with her husband and our dear father.  She developed a tremor which progressed into Parkinson’s Disease, which led to her passing.  In the week before her final hours, our family gathered together and shared a perfect day.  We laughed, cried, prayed, learned some of the tricks she used to create her masterful birthday cards as she passed along the task to her daughters.

During her entire life she looked outward, and we hope as she joins her parents and extended family in heaven, she can have some time to be pampered, free of the ailments of her mortal body.  We love and miss you dearly, our incredible mother.  Thank you for our life, for your example, and for showing us how to live.  We love you.


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04/22/23 11:19 PM #1    

Craig Jolley

Linda and I met early in our senior year. I didn't work on the yearbook, but a lot of my friends did including Linda.  I sometimes hung around the Echo offices after school on the pretense of helping out, though I mainly just got in the way.  As a premier art student, mainly as a painter she became a favorite of Mr. Kowallis the art teacher.  He also influenced her to look into the LDS Church which she did, formally joining later in the year.  She felt a huge debt to Mr. Kowallis. She was chosen yearbook art editor a position she more than fulfilled but believed she could have performed better.  Her front cover budget was limited after the Class of '64 went into debt with their gold cover.  As a student Linda got straight A's in every subject except world history, senior year.   I mean it was a cinch class—even I got an A.  Not sure what happened, but Linda knew she'd aced it, wasn't devastated about getting an undeserved B.  Halfway through the year she suffered through a date with me that unaccountably ended in a goodnight kiss.  Years later we laughed about the occasion.  She claimed she enjoyed herself (including the kiss) but confirmed there was another guy in the equation.

We started hanging out more in college, first at BYU, then Utah U. in Salt Lake where I transferred and Linda worked as an interior designer after early graduation. I should say even though she was extra pretty there was never any romance between us.  For one thing she only felt comfortable dating tall guys.  For a while she was with the star center of the basketball team who stood around 6-10.  I sort of thought of her as my older sister who only wanted the best for me.  She knew I was socially challenged so she would line up blind dates for me with her friends, always winners, and one of whom I fell for head over heels, the best girl I met in college.

We were opposite in most ways.  Linda was organized, thorough, saw every project through to its conclusion.  Her houses were always in impeccable condition inside and out, as were her cars and her personal appearance.  Anything she did was worth excelling at.  Yeah, she was something of a perfectionist, but not compulsive—that was just Linda.  None of the above applies to me. Our liberal politics did generally coincide though we differed on how social progress should happen.    

I've always been a miserable dancer with one exception—with Linda as my partner.  No idea how she did it, but right after she slid into place we were on air.  She knew exactly how to follow (more like subtly correct) a guy who didn't know what he was doing.

Humor was always in the cards. Linda laughed at my jokes whether or not they were funny, the same for other friends.  Never artificial.  Instead she laughed as part of her own welcoming personality. I can easily summon up her hearty, warm, loving sound.  Sometimes she'd escalate to whoops in company with her best friend Kate McNally (Linda called her Kathy Kate to Kate's delight.) after they'd contrive some craziness. She especially loved to lightly poke fun at social icons or break rules she considered obsolete or petty.  She invariably looked at the B side of any discussion or social situation.  We were laughing about the problems of love in the dorms (before the days of coed apartments), how a parade of guys would be seen streaming from the Utah girls' dorm on Sunday mornings, girls coming out of the boys' buildings in overcoats. So of course Linda insisted I sneak her into my room.  Besides the sense of naughtiness (actually nobody really cared except absent parents) I think she wanted to witness my outlandish jazz record collection.  The novelty wore off in a few minutes, and on our way out she met Montana, the nice-guy cowboy who lived in the next room.  He was floored.

We stayed in touch off and on over the years, mostly through emails and phone calls, typically long-winded, sometimes three-sided with Kate.  She often flattered me though she knew I'd see through her.  Linda and Kate came to the 20th and 25th class reunions but none after that as I recall. Communication tailed off late in Linda's life after Parkinson's took over.

She joined a reading club, mainly classic novels.  I usually knew enough about the monthly selection to at least place it historically.  Sometimes I'd check the book out of the library and skim it so we could carry on for more than a sentence or two. That's what I meant to do with George Eliot's Middlemarch, but the book was so well conceived and written I ended up reading it, and we enthusiastically analyzed it.  I got the idea Linda could see parallels between herself and the diligent, strong-willed but gentle main character.

Linda told me she mainly allowed her artistic side to lie dormant, but one year she created a Christmas card for me, hand drawn in colored ink. I was knocked out by the artistry—it belonged in a gallery.  I kept it a few years, but thinking about her typical reluctance to draw off attention I imagined she hadn't shown it to her family before mailing it so I sent it back to where it deserved to live.

She taught school in Washington, Utah, first as an elementary school teacher, then as a guidance counselor.  One of the other teachers was also named Linda so at school she went by Lina, later abbreviated to Lia, personal nicknames she hoped I'd call her.  I suggested the next incarnation should be La which amused her.  I was also pleased when Linda overcame her modesty to inform me she'd received an award as one of the best elementary school teachers in Utah.  At optional retirement age she considered continuing her counseling career, but her parents increasingly required Linda's time. Part-time help could have been hired, but Linda believed only she should be there.

Kate's nephew was receiving First Communion so the three of us signed up to spend the weekend in Las Vegas.  The highlight was an all-in dinner party at the home of Kate's sister.  I don't remember anything that stood out from the occasion besides, as always, how great Linda and Kate looked and sounded.  Linda did seem a bit reserved.  That was the last time Linda and I met, around 2012.

Linda valued her privacy extremely, mostly I think as an extension of her humility. She probably would not have approved of this piece  given her tendency to shun the spotlight, but hopefully she would make an exception for the nostalgic recollections of an old friend.

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