Lily Jones departed this life unexpectedly, in her home, on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. She was 77 years young.
Lily Jeanette Kepplinger was born Aug. 5, 1944, in Whittier, Calif., to Angela Psutka Kepplinger and Josef Kepplinger, who were immigrants from Poland and Austria, respectively. She grew up in Downey, and as a teenager her family moved to Lemon Cove, near Tulare, Calif. She was one of six siblings. She graduated from high school in Exeter, Calif., and went on to graduate from Fresno State University. She worked for a while after college as a high school math teacher, but eventually chose a career in retail.
One night in early 1968, Lily’s car broke down, and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her. Ron Jones, working as a part-time gas-station attendant, answered her call for road-side service, and after helping her with a car-repair, asked her out on a date. On Nov. 23, 1968, she married Ron Jones, her soulmate.
In marrying Ron Jones, she also became stepmother to Ron Jones Jr., Randy Jones, and Sherri Jones, who were then just small children. They lived in Ventura from 1970 to 1989. In their childhood years, Ron, Randy, and Sherri loved their family times together going off-roading in places throughout the Southern California desert.
In the mid-1970s, Ron and Lily adopted two beautiful children from South Korea, James and Jennifer. Lily was an incredible mother to all five of her children. She was the type of mother who supported all her kids' passions, whether it was playing in an obnoxiously loud rock band or playing high school volleyball or being involved in Job’s Daughters. Everyone counted on her for pragmatic, no-nonsense advice.
In 1990, Ron and Lily moved to Atascadero, Calif., where they lived until 1996, when they moved to Tehachapi. Lily worked in loss prevention for Kmart in Atascadero and Tehachapi for 25 years.
Lily loved traveling with Ron. They frequently road tripped around the country, and she loved the places they visited, particularly out of the way little towns with a lot of charm. She was very active in cooking and serving meals for countless events and officer-installations at the local Masonic Lodge.
She is survived by her husband, Ron Jones Sr., her brother Leo Kepplinger, her sister Gertrude Eichen, her daughters, Jennifer Lister and Sherri Scott, and her sons Ron Jones Jr. and Randy Jones, as well as 11 grandchildren (Tracy Elgart, Ronald Jones III, Laurie Guidi, Nicole Mohr, Natalie Newbill, Natasha Davis, Cole Davis, Billy Davis, Tiffany Lister, Joseph Lister and Lily Lister) and 15 great-grandchildren, plus scores of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She is predeceased by her parents, her siblings, Roy Kepplinger, Albert Kepplinger, and Heidi Sinowski, and her son James Josef Jones.
The memorial service will be held at Wood Family Funeral Home in Tehachapi, on Sept. 20, at 10 a.m.