Sandra Sue Jones began her eternal life in heaven on December 20, 2017. She began life in Carnegie, Oklahoma on April 25, 1945, as the youngest of four children. Her parents were John D. and Mary O. (Hines) Thompson.
The Thompsons farmed and ranched at the foot of Longhorn Mountain in eastern Kiowa County in the Sedan community. Throughout her growing-up years working beside her parents and siblings, she developed a strong work ethic, along with a conscientious spirit to do the job correctly. These traits were obvious throughout her professional life. On the farm Sandra loved animals, especially young animals, and reportedly had a seeming endless supply of cats as pets. She also developed a strong fear of rattlesnakes that inhabit that mountainous area.
Sandra attended school at Sedan until it consolidated with neighboring Mt. View, where she graduated in 1963. During the summer between her high school graduation and entering Oklahoma State University, a college friend of John Edward, her brother, happened by for a visit. Six years later with college and a year of working behind her, Sandra married that unexpected visitor, whose name was Gail Jones, of Leedey—that friend of her brother who showed unexpectedly. Gail was often teased during their courtship about going to see that girl on Wolverton Mountain, which was a popular song of that era.
Sandra graduated with a BS Degree in Home Economics from Oklahoma State University in 1967 and went immediately to work for Oklahoma Gas and Electric. While with OG&E, she lived with her brother, Amos and his wife Evelyn, in Mustang, and commuted to downtown Oklahoma City to her workplace. It was during this time, and with Amos’s counsel, that she bought her first car, a brand new 1967 Mustang. She always bemoaned that car being traded for another. Later in 1967, Sandra began her long career with the Cooperative Extension Service of OSU, retiring after 35 years in 2003. Her first assignment was at Pawhuska, where she was within easy driving distance of her sister, Barbara Autry and her young family. In late 1968, Sandra transferred to Stephens County with the Extension Service where she and her husband, Gail, have lived at the same address for all but three months of their married life.
In Stephens County, Sandra worked with the youth-oriented 4-H program and also with Family and Community Education (FCE) groups across the country. These combined responsibilities meant that she went to 4-H meetings, trained lay leadership for both 4-H and FCE, organized and oversaw summer camps, prepared and gave leaders lessons, planned and conducted FCE Council meetings, and was responsible for exhibits at the County Fair. She also answered random and numerous questions from the public, and made time to write a weekly newspaper column. She made frequent trips to neighboring counties to help judge their fairs. And of course, there were seemingly mountains of forms and other paperwork necessary to her job. Throughout, she retained that conscientious mindset that made her strive to be her best at whatever the task. Reminders of her past arose when a stranger would say to her, “I know you from somewhere.” Typically, it will be that her picture accompanied the weekly news article and the person remembered the picture. Many times she had people comment that they remembered her from when she came to their school for a 4-H meeting, and these folks are now grandparents! She always gloried in the successes of those she had interaction with but did not seek accolades for herself though she had a wall full of plaques and trophies acknowledging her achievements and leadership.
Sandra loved God and His church. She made a profession of her faith and was baptized as a teenager at the Mt. View First Baptist Church. In every community in which she has lived she joined a local church. Over the years she volunteered her expertise many ways as a faithful member of First Baptist Church Duncan. Her service included being a member of various committees, serving as Sunday school records keeper, assisting with team-led young married adult Sunday school classes in the 1970s, and she assisted with numerous funeral dinners. In retirement she had the time to become active in the Women’s Mission group, which was a life’s dream come true as she had always had a passion for missions. Another passion was scripture reading and study. She especially enjoyed focused, in-depth Bible studies.
Sandra was always anxious to learn of the successes and achievements of each young person in her and Gail’s families.
Health issues began to crowd her quality of life, such that she has been a resident of Elk Crossing Nursing and Rehab since January, 2017. She counted many residents and staff at Elk Crossing among her friends.
Sandra was predeceased by her parents, brother Amos, grandparents, and in-laws.
She is survived by her husband, Gail, sister Barbara Autry (Bill), brother John E. Thompson (El Nora), and sister-in-law Evelyn Thompson. Nieces and nephews of her family include Christopher Autry (Tina), Holley Jurbergs (Dave), Miles Thompson (Molly), Micah Thompson, and Mark Thompson (April). From Gail’s family are sister-in-law Helen King (Jim), niece Shellie Thornton (Curtis), and nephew Shawn Whorton (Kimberly). She is also survived by eleven great nieces and nephews, and three great-great nieces, as well as numerous cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that memorial contributions be made to churches or charities of choice.
Services will be handled by Whitt Funeral Home of Duncan. Family visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 26, followed by a funeral at the Mt. View First Baptist Church, officiated by Pastor Brian Waddell, with burial in the Mt. View Cemetery on Wednesday, December 27, at 1:00 P.M.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.whittfh.com .