Debra Lee Jones-
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Debra Lee Jones
Debra L. Jones 61, born May 28, 1954, died June 30, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. Debbie was born a very beautiful little girl with Downs Syndrome. Debbie had a lot of very Special friends and neighbors whom, when she was in her prime, she would assist with a bowl of spaghetti if they weren’t feeling well. She loved to Hula at a Luau.
She is survived by her father, Ronald L. Jones, step-mother, Michelle Rigby Jones, siblings Randy L. (Julie), Kathaleen (David) Shell, Lindsay K. (Jill), Lisa A. (Alan) Mangum and step siblings Tyler Jensen, Travis Rigby and Sydney Oliver. She is preceded in death by her mother Bonita Butler Jones and Brody Mangum.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, July 11, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at the Jordan North 6th Ward on Bangerter and 4100 South, West Valley City, Utah. A viewing will precede the funeral from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. There will also be a viewing Friday, July 10, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the same location. Interment will be at the Valley View Cemetery 4400 West 4100 South, West Valley City, Utah.
Being the first of five siblings, Debra enjoyed helping to raise her brothers, Randy and Lindsay, and sisters, Cathaleen and Lisa. She attended a Special ED school in Ogden and then graduated from Hartvigsen in Salt Lake City. She learned a lot of domestic skills in school such as washing clothes, washing dishes and cooking. Even though she never learned to read – she did write, a lot. She had beautiful printing skills, she also taught herself to use a typewriter. Her favorite thing to do was to copy the information from the back of LP albums covers. She kept all of her work in a filing cabinet. Debra could not do math, but she could tell you the time from a digital or an analog clock or watch. She loved to talk on the phone and had memorized all of her neighbor friend’s phone numbers. She loved to sing.
Debra really enjoyed the times the family spent with Grandma and Grandpa Butler, Bonnie’s mom and dad, in Ogden. She also liked family vacations to places like Yellowstone, Disneyland, Idaho to visit Grandma and Grandpa Jones, Lake Havasu trips with Aunt Laura, Uncle Scott and Aunt Carol and to Star Valley Wyoming were Deb learned to drive. She drove the golf cart and did very well. She can also very skillfully drive a motorized shopping cart in the grocery store.
Later on she developed an interest in Don Ho, Hawaiian music, dancing and Luaus. She loved all of the people in our ward, especially the big families like John and Barbra Park, Randy and Rolinda Tidwell and Richard and Peggy Pocock. For several years she had our family room set up like a Hawaiian Beachcomber Hotel showroom using six T.V. trays as tables, then invited anyone who would come to enjoy an evening of Hawaiian music, singing and hula dancing. The Tidwell, Park and Pocock children were regular attendees. Debra learned her skills as a show room host and entertainer by being a guest in Hawaii. She went to Hawaii two times and she was invited to sing “Tiny Bubbles” on stage with Don Ho. She was always looking at vacant properties in West Valley hoping to build a Beachcomber Hotel on it. She even drew up the plans.
Debra had a creative imagination. She was a doctor with her own medical tools including a real stethoscope, real blood pressure cuff and toy syringe for giving shots. She came by her doctoring skills by watching Dr. Welby on T.V. She pretended Don Ho was her husband. She could talk to her mom by dialing 1-800-HEAVEN on her old broken cell phone.
When Debra’s mom had a stroke in 1986 and required a lot of special care. Debra was her loving caregiver. In 1995 Debra’s mom passed away due to complication from another stroke. Peggy Pocock became her new mom and Christopher, Tammy and Megan became her additional siblings. Joyce Bailey and Judy Workman were also special moms to Debra.
After Debra had completed her special purpose as caregiver to her mother. She needed something to fill the void. So Jordan Valley Supported Employment was contacted and provided opportunites for Debra to work outside the home. She worked at Burger King, Red Lobster and Taco Bell as a member of the customer service support staff. This beautiful little lady was able to get herself out of the house on time to catch the bus for work at Red Lobster and rode her 3-wheel bike to work at Taco Bell. She also worked at South Valley where she performed numerous duties.
As her progression continued it seemed appropriate that Deb should be allowed to reside in a group home with other special girls. We were very fortunate to have our Bishop Ron Jensen recommend Debra to his brother Terry who owns TJK, a company that operates several homes in the valley. Debra was accepted at The Yellow House in Sandy, where she lived with three very special friends Shawna, Rayna and Claudia. She also made friends with several extremely caring staff personnel. Debra had many adventures with her friends at The Yellow House including a cruise to Mexico.
In 2004 Ron found a new love to fill his life. Now Debra had another new mom and three new brothers, Tyler, Travis and Sydney. Ron, Michelle and Deb have had many good times together. They went to Disneyland and also to Hawaii again so Deb could sing with Don Ho. On her new Grandpa and Grandma Rigby’s 50th wedding anniversary she was able to get Grandpa Rigby to do the hula dance with her. As a special tribute Ron and Debra sang The Hawaiian Wedding song for them.
There were a few instances where Debra was hospitalized and required rehabilitation before going back to The Yellow House. While at Sandy Regional she made more friends due to her amazing personality. While there she enjoyed Wednesday Bingo and continued Saturday movie date night with her dad.
Debra loved to go to church, Young Woman’s Mutual, performing in Road Shows and singing special numbers at Sacrament meeting. She enjoyed her summer camps at Walsburg with the Special Mutual girls. Debra did not need to be baptized, but it was very important to her so she asked the Bishop if she could be baptized and he approved it. It was a very solemn occasion.
Debra Jones holds a special place in so many people’s hearts. She was beautiful, funny and talented. She had the most infectious personality, you could not help but love her, hug her and want to be near her.
A very special thank you from the Ron Jones family to everyone who loved and cared for Debra.