Cecile B. Jones became part of our Woodland Ridge family in the fall of 2010. We were blessed to have her share her life and her joy with us for 5 years. As her family marked the first anniversary of her passing in September, they chose to honor her memory in a special way.
Catherine Smith, Cecile’s daughter, told us that her mom had not only given so much of herself in raising her 7 children, but, after her retirement, she also watched children in her New Orleans neighborhood until their working moms got home. She earned the nickname “Other Mother” as a result. Her 7 children, 17 grandchildren, and one great grandchild (so far!), along with numerous other children she mentored, are Cecile’s living legacy.
Catherine describes her mother as “a proud Louisiana Creole girl.” After Cecile’s mother died when Cecile was only an infant, Cecile was raised by an aunt and uncle who could not have their own children. She never knew her father. She graduated as salutatorian of her high school class, but then put off her own education to travel with her husband throughout his U.S. Army career. Cecile was adamant, though, that all 7 of her children would graduate from college.
Cecile taught herself to cook – no small feat by New Orleans standards – and she was an accomplished seamstress and clay sculptor. Before retiring, she worked as a receptionist at public television stations in New Orleans and Atlanta.
To honor this special lady’s memory, her family chose to make a donation to Woodland Ridge Assisted Living & Memory Care. Cecile loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed time in our courtyard. The family’s gift will help us bring new life to our entrance as we renovate the front island with new trees. In recognition of their gift and in memory of Cecile, the family has provided a plaque in her memory for one of our courtyard benches.
Nelson Henderson said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit,” and Cecile’s life is a testament to that philosophy. Through her love and guidance, she made a positive difference in others’ lives, and her family continues to live her legacy of love.