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SMC fixture, Jones, dies

Ashley Charnley | Friday, January 30, 2009

Katherine Jones, Holy Cross Hall’s former front desk worker, died on Jan. 16 after 18 years of dedicated service to the College and the students whom she came to deeply love and care for. She was 59.

“She always tried to make everyone feel comfortable,” said Bev Moyer, co-worker and longtime friend of Katherine. “She always went above and beyond the duty.”

Katherine worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift Sunday through Friday. She fell in love with the residents and the hall was like her home away from home.

Two senior Residents Assistants, Anna Hoefer, and Sarah Dalton recall fond memories of their time in the hall with Katherine.

“We always stopped to talk to Katherine. She was always a friendly face,” Hoefer said.

St. Nicholas Day was an especially important day for Katherine. She would go door to door throughout the hall leaving candy for all of the residents, Dalton said.

“She never forgot our birthdays or Christmas. She always left us cards on our birthday,” Dalton said.

Each of the seniors said Katherine always went out of her way to make residents feel at home.

In order to help keep Katherine’s memory alive, and uphold the feeling of warmth and caring she spread throughout the hall, the RA’s said they plan on continuing her holiday traditions.

Katherine was forced to quit work about halfway through the fall semester. Not because she wanted to, but because she was under doctor’s orders.

“If she could, she would be here,” Holy Cross Hall Director Terri Paul said. “She loved working here, loved the residence, loved Holy Cross. It was just such a big part of her life for so many years.”

She was also an active member of Little Flower Catholic Church, located on Ironwood Dr. in South Bend. She spent over 25 years assisting at the church with funeral luncheons. She would work all night at Saint Mary’s and then turn around the next morning and go the church to help with the funeral luncheons, Paul said.

Residents of the hall sent cards to Katherine while she was in hospice. Also, donations were taken from the students to help Katherine’s family pay for the expenses. The girls at Holy Cross also raised money to buy her mass cards for a year.

“The good that came from this really sad, terrible experience is that everybody really came together for her,” Paul said.

A mass was held in Katherine’s memory Wednesday in Le Mans’ Holy Spirit Chapel.

Katherine will be missed in the halls of Holy Cross. She meant so much not only to the people she worked with, but also the residents who passed by the front desk late and stopped to chat with her. For so many years she was a large part of what made Holy Cross so special.

“This is Katherine’s hall. It will always be Katherine’s hall,” Moyer said.