Mike Jones said his mother will be cremated and her ashes taken back to her home state of South Dakota, where she will be buried next to her parents. She is also survived by a daughter, Melissa Bowen.
Jones, who suffered a stroke more than a week ago, was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1984, where she served for 14 years. More recently she had been a lobbyist for the Little Rock Realtors Association.
There was another side to the politician. In 2006, this brief item about Jones appeared in the Times' Observer column:
The Observer dialed up Myra Jones, the former state representative and city director, the other day and found ourselves talking to a clarinet player in the Cowboy Band in South Dakota.
We did not have the wrong number. We were talking to Jones, and while we usually picture her in a sweater set and pearls, she might have been wearing a straw hat, a red long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots and white chaps. Or at least, that’s what she wears when, on her return to South Dakota every year, she plays the rodeo and other events.
Jones grew up on a ranch near Belle Fourche, and it’s there that she and fellow musicians in the Cowboy Band — sometimes as many as 65 come — marched in the Fourth of July Parade. She first played in the Cowboy Band as a high school student and when she was home from Oberlin College (as a music major), until the band fizzled out. Then, 20 years ago, the band “reconstructed,” and now she and former classmates and residents and folks from all over the country return to the Black Hills to play the three-day rodeo, give a concert in the bandshell, take part in the parade and play the streetcorners and bars during festivities in Belle Fourche.
Jones has also played on a cruise ship. If you don’t believe us, call Jones. She’s got a CD the band just cut.
It was a fun interview, and we still have the CD.