Dorothy Reed “Dody” Jones’ life was a testament to the American spirit. She lived by a precept her mother taught her–“Life is what you make it.” Her long and positive journey through life was marked by hard work, common sense, humor, patriotism and friendship.
Her journey ended on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016, just short of her ninety-second birthday. She died peacefully, in her sleep, at her home in Snowflake early Christmas morning. Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, at the United Methodist Church, located at 118 W. Arizona St. in Holbrook. The concluding service and interment will immediately follow at the R.V. “Mike” Ramsay Memorial Cemetery in Snowflake.
Christmas was a special season for Dody. Her home was always bright with lights and beautiful decorations. She liked to tell about childhood Christmases on the ranch where their tree was lighted by candles and sweet smells wafted from the old wood stove.
Dody was born in Holbrook to Tom E. Reed and Olive Clarke Reed Jan. 31, 1925. She was the first of four girls who grew up on the Rocking Chair Ranch 28 miles south of Holbrook. Not having brothers, the girls had to be their dad’s “cowboys.” They were expected to ride, brand and fix fence, as well as help with household chores.
Money was scarce during the Great Depression, but there was always enough to eat on the ranch. Dody’s sister Margaret, “Peg,” was born at the ranch with Tom delivering. Carol was born in Holbrook and Tamme at the ranch. From the age of 7 or 8 Dody had to help care for her younger sisters. The girls attended a one-room schoolhouse in Zeniff, a small settlement three miles from the ranch at Dry Lake. When Dody started first grade she rode horseback to school, weather permitting. In bad weather she stayed with friends closer to school. She would loosen the cinch and leave her beloved horse, Ginger, in Burke Prince’s corral all day. Young Burke would help her tighten the cinch before she started home. When Peg started school, the girls rode double on Ginger. By the time Carol and Tamme came along the family had a car.
Dody’s parents divorced in 1937, and Olive moved to San Bernardino, Calif., with her girls. Going from a one-room schoolhouse with 13 students to a 2,000-student junior high school was terrifying for Dody. The day school let out, Tom Reed would pick up the girls and take them to the ranch for the summer. The girls worked hard moving cattle, working on windmills and fences. One year the girls made adobe bricks by hand, and built a storage room and open shed. Another summer Tom’s “fence crew” rolled up 10 miles of smooth fence wire that was replaced with barbed wire. The crew tied stays on the new fence and cleaned tumbleweeds off old fences. The three older girls were paid $17 each for their work. Dody bought a concho belt she kept all her life.
When Dody graduated from high school in California she headed back to Holbrook, where she found work at the bank and then the drug store. In 1947 Dody married World War II veteran Curry Jones, the son of John and Ella Jones who ranched east of Holbrook. The couple lived on the Jones Ranch for three years, then moved into Springerville for six years while Curry managed the 7 Trough Ranch and Dody managed Reed’s Motel. Dody also found time to sew for friends, making custom-tailored Western shirts and dresses.
Dody and Curry had two sons, John and Clarke. John was born in 1948, Clarke was born in 1953. In 1963 the Jones family moved to Snowflake where Dody and Clarke have lived ever since. John was killed in a vehicle accident near Heber July 26, 1967. Clarke is retired from his job with the Town of Snowflake.
Dody served as president of the Rocking Chair Ranch, a family group. At various times she worked at the BIA dormitory in Snowflake, Southwest Forest Industries paper mill, the Apache Railroad and Barbara’s Fashions. She was active in community affairs and organizations. She was a lifetime member of the Order of Eastern Star; charter member of Northern Arizona Cowbelles, serving as president 1992-1996 and secretary-treasurer 1996-1998; Arizona State Cowbelles; and a Republican precinct committeewoman. She was best known for sewing and quilting, making scrapbooks and creating craft items for many fundraisers.
Survivors include four half-brothers, Tom Reed Jr. of Linden, Jack Archie Reed of Queen Creek, and adopted twins, Ronald and Donald (now deceased) Reed; three half-sisters, Patsy Reed Little of Albuquerque, N.M., Becky Reed Priest of Amarillo, Texas, and Robin Reed of Amarillo. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
She was preceded in death by her father, Tom Reed; her mother, Olive Porter; her son, John Thomas Jones; and her sisters, Margaret “Peg” Pribble, Carol Ringsted and Tamme Welch.
The family requests that friends make a donation to Hospice Compassus in lieu of flowers.
Owens Livingston Mortuary-Heritage Chapel in Snowflake was in charge of the arrangements.