Jones, Dianne Ruth (nee Goldfinger) Mrs. Jones was a lifelong fighter for civil rights, especially the right of teachers to organize and bargain collectively. Mrs. Jones also fought for education justice for all, especially poor children. Born March 24, 1928, raised in Manhattan and Far Rockaway New York, Mrs. Jones came to Chicago, Illinois in 1949 and attended Roosevelt University. Mrs. Jones along with her husband Linzey D. Jones Sr., whom she married in 1950, became actively involved in the growing civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Mrs. Jones was actively involved with the NAACP in Chicago and the south suburbs, helping to organize two NAACP chapters, led efforts to desegregate Chicago's Rainbow Beach, and went to the 1963 March on Washington, D.C. During the 1950's, Mrs. Jones began her career as an educator, teaching primarily in West Harvey School District No. 147, where in 1968 Mrs. Jones led efforts to establish one of the first teacher unions in the state of Illinois, West Harvey Federation of Teachers Local 1698. Mrs. Jones served as President of Local 1698 from 1972-1978, and also served as an Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) Vice-President for 8 years and chairperson of the Illinois Right-to-Read Advisory Council. Retiring from teaching in 1979, Mrs. Jones then took on a larger role in serving the interests of educators and children as an IFT Field Service Director with IFT Local 604 until 1991, where she was responsible for organizing and bargaining for teachers and staff in Sauk Village, Peotone, Channahon, Wilmington, Homer, Joliet, Tinley Park, Steger, and many other communities. Mrs. Jones also worked on teacher training and school reform initiatives of the IFT until she retired from the IFT in 1993. Mrs. Jones said of her career, "Everyone should get to work at what they would volunteer to do." Mrs. Jones passed away on December 31, 2012 after a long illness. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 55 years, Linzey D. Jones Sr. Mrs. Jones was mother to Leslie Ann Jones (Tom Johnson) and Judge Linzey D. Jones, Jr. (Gloria); and grandmother to Linzey George Jones and Ben, Charlie and Jake Johnson. Mrs. Jones lived a true and purposeful life and set a wonderful example in helping others. Mrs. Jones was always generous with her time and resources in support of her children, grandchildren and many friends. A private memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flower, the family requests that donations be sent to the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter, 220 W. Huron Street, Suite 4003, Chicago, IL 60654, or at www.alsachicago.org.
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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 4, 2013