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Barbara E. Jones

Date of Death: March 7, 2017

Date of Birth: March 2, 1922


BRUNSWICK – Barbara E. Jones died at her home in Brunswick, Maine on March 7, 2017, five days following her 95th birthday on March 2nd.

A graduate of Emma Willard School and Smith College, Dr. Jones first worked in radio, television, and print advertising. Not satisfied with what these ventures demanded of her, she entered Union Theological Seminary in New York from which she received a Masters Degree in Comparative Religion; and, subsequently, a PhD in Philosophy of Religion from Columbia University.

In 1970 she joined the faculty of Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she headed the Dept. of Religion until 1981. In 1981 she was appointed Director of the Council for Religion in Independent Schools (CRIS), and ecumenical organization that provided support and instruction to independent schools across the country and abroad, in the areas of religion, ethics, and Judeo-Christian traditions. Her years with CRIS (1981 to 1987) had her traveling across the United States and abroad, for speaking engagements and lectures. Dr. Jones was an electrifying speaker with humor and wit. In 1987 when she retired from CRIS, one of her colleagues wrote: "She had a great gift for speaking and engaging diverse groups in deepening their understanding of the moral certainties in uncertain times, and how they can affect young people. Her outreach to students, teachers, school heads, parents, and trustees brought people together in a clear and forthright manner." In her own words about her work at CRIS, she stated: "During those years I have been hammering at some themes. Primarily the need to recognize the universality of the moral realities: justice; charity; mercy; truth; beauty; goodness; faith; hope; love."

Although she had left Masters School in 1981, her popularity with her students endured; evidenced by students who were now mothers and grandmothers who continued corresponding with her, and she with them, and staying in touch with one another for decades that followed. Her warmth, her generous nature, her brightness, is sorely missed.

Dr. Jones is survived by her spouse, Yvonne Fast, who resides in Brunswick, Maine.

Upon the request of Dr. Jones, there will be no memorial services.

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