Kathryn Kennedy Sexton Jones of New Braunfels, Texas died Nov. 2, 2012.
She was born June 25, 1932 in Port Townsend, Wash., the daughter of Dr. M.C. Sexton and Leila Kennedy Sexton. She spent her childhood in Rushville with her grandmother and grandfather, Florence Sipe Kennedy and Jesse Barnes Kennedy.
She attended Rushville High School, serving as editor of The Rushlite, the school newspaper, and graduated in 1950. She attended Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio from 1950to 1952, then Ball State Teachers College from 1952 to 1954, graduating with a B. A. in Education and majoring in English and Political Science.
Kay married Robert E. Jones Aug. 23, 1953, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Rushville. They moved to Battlecreek, Mich., where she taught junior high English. Their son, Robert Jeffrey Jones, was born in 1955 in Indianapolis. The couple relocated to Augusta, Ga., where Bob served in the U.S. Army Signal Corp and Kay taught English from 1956 to 1957. After Bob’s tour of duty, Kay and Bob moved to Indianapolis where their daughter, Stacey Susan Jones, was born in 1958. Afterwards, they lived in Battleground where Kay taught and Bob finished his degree at Purdue.
In 1961, Bob and Kay moved to Oklahoma City, Okla.; Bob worked for Western Electric and Kay stayed home to rear Jeff and Stacey; after they moved to Bethany, Okla. in 1963, Kay began writing children’s literature; her book The Leaning Tower of Toot was published by E.C. Seale and Company in 1965. She eventually obtained certification as a librarian, and went to work for the Oklahoma City Library System as children’s librarian at Bethany Library. A skilled speaker and storyteller, Kay was a well known visiting storyteller in the local school districts and made appearances on local children’s shows. She later worked as a writer for Economy Company, a children’s textbook publisher. In 1976, she took a position as a teacher of English as a second language at the Oklahoma City branch of ELS, an international language institute, on the campus of Oklahoma City University. She also taught at ELS branches in Pusan and Seoul, South Korea. In 1991, she was honored as ELS Teacher of the Year; she retired in 1997. A lover of travel, Kay took several excursions with family, friends, and colleagues throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.
She was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Carolyn Jones; her father, Dr. M.C. Sexton, and stepmother, Catherine Sexton of Chattahoochee, Fla.; her mother, Leila K. Marquis, and stepfather, Ross Marquis, of Rushville; and her sisters, Elizabeth Sexton Schmoll of John’s Island, S.C. and Mary Frances Beeler of Rushville.
Kay is survived by her husband, Bob; her children, Jeff Jones, of Aubrey, Texas, and Stacey Jones Connelly of San Antonio; her daughter-in-law, Jan Jones; son-in-law, David Connelly, and grandchildren, Jacob Jones, Kelbi Gray, Anna Connelly, and Aidan Connelly.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at First United Methodist Church in New Braunfels, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to First United Methodist Church of New Braunfels, 572 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, Texas, 78130.