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Jones, Mary M. "Mat" (Merrell) - La Jolla  
Mat Jones died of complications of dementia at the age of 91 on January 12, 2015, the thirteenth anniversary of her husband's death. She was born Mary Maxine Merrell in the tiny town of Bridgeport, Nebraska, on January 2, 1924, to P.J. and Mary Anna Merrell. Mat was a high school cheerleader, majorette, sorority sister and Homecoming Queen at Wesleyan college; and a La Jolla socialite who made many lifelong friends along the way. She and her husband, Dr. Richard A. "Dick" Jones, were high school sweethearts and married on December 26, 1944, in Bridgeport. Mat supported her husband while he completed medical school in Nebraska and then internship and residency in Chicago, Illinois. In the late 1940s, Dick had completed his service obligations at San Diego Naval Hospital, so when he was offered a partnership by Dr. Hall Holder in La Jolla, they decided to move back to California in 1953. Mat and Dick joined the La Jolla Presbyterian church, and she enthusiastically threw herself into many social and charitable community projects, including PTA and Las Patronas presidencies, Scripps Hospital Auxiliary chairmanships and volunteer work, and church event planning. She also served six years on the La Jolla Town Council. Her handmade puppets and shows were legendary. She enjoyed making people, especially children, laugh and being the life of the party wherever she went. Her cheerful, friendly presence will be missed. Mat was preceded in death by her husband, Dick, her parents, and all four of her siblings. She is survived by her children, Susan Nicholas, Debbie George and Steve Jones; six grandchildren, Laura Nicholas Daniels, CHP Sgt. Eric Nicholas, Wendy Nicholas Hamilton, Ernest Woodward, Jessie George Gonzalez and Pearl George; and nine great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on February 7, 2015, at 2 p.m. at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, 7715 Draper Ave., La Jolla. A reception will follow at 3 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
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Published in La Jolla Light on Jan. 29, 2015
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