Lasting Memories

Barb Jones
Dec. 18, 1951-July 13, 2019
Palo Alto, California

Barbara Ellis Jones, 67, passed away on July 13, 2019, after a short battle with aggressive lung cancer. She left us peacefully, with a view of her beautiful Palo Alto garden, her children holding her hands.

The oldest of five, Barb grew up in St. Louis. At Georgetown University, she earned a BA in Sociology with a minor in Economics. After raising her three kids in Palo Alto and Nantucket, Mass., she dedicated her time to transforming the lives of women and girls worldwide.

A philanthropist, civic leader, and community volunteer, Barb was a founding member of the Maverick Collective, a new philanthropic model aimed at ending extreme poverty by investing in girls and women. She spearheaded a project in Myanmar that made enormous strides in reducing gender-based violence. She was also a founding member of WANDA, a California nonprofit that helps lift single mothers out of poverty.

“I have been unbelievably fortunate in my life,” she said to a group of women in Myanmar, “and have seen so many places where women are not. I want to do what I can to help.”

Barb served on the Board of Regents at Georgetown University and the Board of Caminar Family and Children’s Services. She was a member of the Silicon Valley Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch, a Trustee of the Nantucket Atheneum, and President of the Nantucket Garden Club; and a supporter of the Global Fund for Women, The School Fund, GAIA, Eastside Prep, and Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund.

Above all, Barb was a caring, open-hearted mother who cherished her three kids, and made their partners part of her family. Barb loved people, and built community wherever she went, from international philanthropic networks to book clubs on both coasts. She will be remembered for her kindness, compassion, and cheery smile.

She is survived by her mother, Joyce Ellis; her father and stepmother, Jack and Dottie Ellis; her children, Harvey Jones III (Katie Farley), Carey Jones (John McCarthy), and Greg Jones (Lauren Marrone); their father, Harvey Jones, Jr.; her brothers, John, Joe, Dave, and Jim Ellis; her half-sister, Colleen Stock (Paul); and many more family and friends who loved her dearly.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, July 27, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (505 East Charleston Road). Memorial contributions may be made to Caminar Family and Children’s Services.

Nov. 12, 2019

I was lucky enough to be a part of her Georgetown group along with Ted Lawless, Steve Bono, Patty Bidwell,Rick Wall,John Alciati and others. We will miss you, Barb.You brought so much warmth with you when you walked into the room. You shared so much of yourself with us as you continued to do with so many others throughout your life.All of our love goes with you on this final journey.

From Merrielou Symes
Oct. 6, 2019

Barb was one of the finest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing and was blessed to count as a good friend. She was a dependable and caring friend in all circumstances and I miss her terribly. There are few people who give so generously and are so thoughtful. Bright and intellectually curious, down to earth, fun-loving, and an incredibly nice person, she was truly one of a kind.

From Colleen Hempleman
July 26, 2019

I am so sorry that I wasn't fortunate enough to get to know Barb well. We occasionally played tennis together in Nantucket. What I remember most is her warm smile and her easy disposition. I regret that I didn't know her well enough to learn of her many accomplishments and her extraordinary contribution in helping to change the lives of so many women. With my sympathy to Barbara's family and friends, Colleen Hempleman

From Carroll Collins
July 22, 2019

What a wonderful obituary. Enjoy your memories. She was a person who clearly left a positive mark on society. I am so sorry that I will be unable to attend the memorial service but my thoughts will be with you.

From Maryanne
July 19, 2019

This is a heartbreaking loss. I knew Barbara through her compassionate and generous work with us at Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley (FCS) and, following our merger, at Caminar. Barbara was an inspirational role model, with a huge heart and so much love for her family and friends and so much are for those in need of help in her community. She is and will be missed greatly.