Elaine Jones (1937-2020)

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Her volunteer work was immeasurable

Elaine Jones

The Drummer and the town of Granby are saddened to learn that Elaine Jones passed away on March 6, 2020, after a long illness. Elaine made Granby her home for 57 years with Jim, her husband of 53 years. They raised their four children here and both were active in the community. Her legacy of volunteering extended for more than a half-century.

Elaine was raised in Central Falls, R.I., attended the Boston Children’s Hospital School of Nursing (now the Curry College School of Nursing), and after her children were grown, earned a bachelor’s degree in English at St. Joseph College and went on to serve as the director of public information until her retirement. She then returned to her nursing background, working at McLean Home and at the Institute of Living in Hartford.

Elaine took on any opportunity that came her way if it would benefit her community. Her children and those in the community benefited from the hours she spent as a Girl Scout leader and serving on the YW Youth Center Board. She was a TOUCH officer, served on the boards of the Granby Land Trust, the Salmon Brook Historical Society and Citizens for a Better Granby (CBG), publisher of The Granby Drummer.

Granby benefited from Elaine’s involvement in politics when she served three two-year terms on the Board of Selectmen, and also acted as chairperson of the Democratic Town Committee. In addition, she served on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Elaine Jones. Drummer file photo

Perhaps Elaine’s most visible and long-term commitment to Granby was her many roles and contributions to the Granby Drummer. She was an early supporter of the fledgling paper created by the CBG in 1970. Her roles included: pasting typewritten copy on the boards for submission to the printer; helping with the early CBG-sponsored community forums; attending meetings and reporting for each of the town boards, most notably her years covering Planning and Zoning; interviewing folks for human interest pieces, and writing articles that investigated and explained community issues. She also did two stints as an editor and as a co-editor. From the beginning, Elaine was a committed volunteer who made it possible for the Drummer to thrive and continue meeting the needs of her town. In addition, she served as CBG chairperson for multiple terms.

A feature article, “The Granby Drummer, a unique community newspaper of, by and for the people,” by Theresa Sullivan Barger in the Hartford Courant on January 26, 1997, highlighted a typical week in Elaine’s life as a Drummer volunteer. At the end of her interview, Elaine shared her volunteering philosophy, “Getting paid is not the ultimate satisfaction,” Jones, then 60, said. “Doing things for your community—that’s the essence of what life is about.”

The board of Citizens for a Better Granby, the Drummer staff and a grateful community will miss you, Elaine.