Official Obituary of

Barbara Jones

August 17, 1937 ~ March 21, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Barbara Jones Obituary

It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Barbara P. Jones on Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Urbana.

Barbara dedicated her life to the work and mission of the John David Mooney Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit educational arts organization established in 1981. She was founder, director and administrator for the foundation, handling day-to-day management of its operations, art exhibits, public relations, development and events.

For 50 years, she assisted Chicago artist John David Mooney professionally and personally in his numerous large-scale sculpture installations in Chicago, Urbana, Illinois, the Olympic Games in Atlanta and international exhibits in Croatia, Italy, Malta, Scotland, Spain and the Vatican. Her unwavering commitment and boundless enthusiasm transformed the John David Mooney Foundation into a thriving center of creativity, education, culture and innovation. She was also instrumental in the 20-year process of creating the Art in the Park sculpture and horticulture installation adjacent to Urbana City Hall, which includes two sculptures, Spirit Tree and Falling Leaf.

Barbara dedicated her life to arts education, fostering interns and artists in residence, and helping early-career artists become established. Barb’s warmth, kindness, generosity and infectious passion for the arts touched the lives of all with whom she associated.

Barbara was born on Aug. 17, 1937, in Chicago. She graduated from South Shore High School in 1955 and went on to attend DePauw University, where she graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Following her undergraduate degree, she completed coursework toward her master’s degree at Purdue University.

Barbara is survived by her partner, John David Mooney of Chicago; daughter Pam Jones (Mark Bianchi) of Colorao; son, Thaddeus Jones of Rome, Italy; granddaughter, Mariah Miles of Oregon; and son-in-law, Neal Miles of Oregon.

Her daughter Debora Miles (Jones) and former husband, Thaddeus Jones Sr., preceded her in death.

Barbara will be forever remembered and deeply missed by her family, friends, colleagues and the arts community she served. Her legacy will prevail through the lives she touched and the indelible mark she made on the cultural landscape in Chicagoland and beyond.

Funeral services will be on Tuesday, April 2, at 10 a.m. at Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL 60661. The funeral liturgy will be streamed live and viewable on-demand afterward at Visitation will precede the liturgy at 9 a.m. at the church. The graveside rite of committal and burial is scheduled to take place Thursday, April 4, at 2 p.m. in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Tolono.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Emergency Ukrainian Fellowship Fund sponsored by the John David Mooney Foundation, 114 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL 60654, or to a charity of your choice in her honor.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Jones, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Barbara Jones?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Barbara's memory.


April 2, 2024

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Old St. Patrick s Church, Chicago

Funeral Mass
April 2, 2024

10:00 AM
Old St. Patrick s Church, Chicago

Graveside Service
April 4, 2024

11:32 AM


© 2024 Lux Memorial Chapel. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility