YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Gloria Olson Jones passed away Thursday, June 1, 2023, peacefully in her sleep after a brief illness.

Born in Buffalo, New York on July 29, 1933, she was the eldest of three children of Edgar and Josephine (Ippolito) Olson, raised and educated in Jamestown, New York.

She graduated from Elmira College Summa Cum Laude with double degrees in Biology and Chemistry.

After graduation, she spent a year traveling in Europe and tutoring English before accepting a position in research at Eton Laboratories, a division of Norwich Pharmaceutical Co. From there she moved on to heading a research laboratory at Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo, New York.

She earned an MA in Physiological Chemistry from the University of Buffalo (now SUNY Buffalo) and taught a course at the medical school. Later she earned an MA in English with emphasis on Linguistics from Youngstown State University.

In 1957 she married the love of her life, Roger D. Jones.

In 1967 they moved to the Youngstown area and together they founded Fireline, Inc. She taught as an adjunct professor in the English Department at YSU and was a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Nis in what was then Yugoslavia before retiring in 1992. She rejoined Fireline, Inc. as Vice President of property management and special projects. During those years, she served as Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Fireline and later she chaired the Charitable Giving Committee.

Before coming to Youngstown, she was active in the NAACP as co-chair of the Education Committee and co-founder of the preschool program that predated Head Start and was a regional director of the campaign to revise the Pennsylvania State Constitution. In Ohio, she was active in and served on the Board of Associated Neighborhood Centers, Citizens League of Greater Youngstown and, for over 20 years, was an officer of the Friends of the Main Public Library. She was a member of many book clubs. She was active with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown where she was a founding member of the Festival of the Arts that ran for 17 years.

She and her husband were very interested in education. They supported OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology. They also supported the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley by adopting the Success After Six program at the MLK School. They supported their alma maters and established many scholarships.

Among things that brought her joy were family and friends. She enjoyed the arts, especially classical music from chamber music to opera and literature. She and her husband loved to travel – 48 states, over 90 countries and across all seven continents.

She is survived by her beloved son, David W. Jones and daughter-in-law, Caroline S. Jones; grandchildren, Elisabeth and William Phillips-Jones, Zachary, Dylan and Isobel Wimer; stepgranddaughter, Laura Crawford; nieces, Elizabeth (Errol) Stewart, Anne Dwyer and Nancy (Wendel) Martinkovic; nephews, Robert (Jan) Williams, Thomas (Ann) Williams, James (Olivia) Dwyer, David (Mary) Olson and Christopher (Krissa) Olson; dear friend, Bonnie Olson; Paul Ndawula “son from another mother” and many beloved friends.

Her husband, Roger D. Jones and daughter, Rachel Wimer, preceded her in death.

A memorial will be held at a date to be announced this August.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Wm Nicholas Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 614 Warren Avenue, Niles, OH 44446.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gloria Jones, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Wednesday, June 7 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.