Loving Mother, Wife, Friend
Audrey L. (Lange) Jonas of Littleton, Colorado died peacefully on November 25, 2021.
Audrey was born to Joseph and Cecilia Lange in the farming community of Crofton, Nebraska on December 10, 1924. A child of the Depression, Audrey was a tomboy that loved to run wild on the family farm. She showed early academic promise, skipping a grade at the one-room school she attended with her siblings. After graduating from Crofton High School, she went through secretarial training and worked as a secretary in Minneapolis, sharing an apartment with friends. From her photos and stories, these were fun years. Among other things, she loved dancing to big band music, eventually becoming a part-time Arthur Murray instructor. In 1947, she went on a cross-country road trip with her brothers and sister, admiring Denver and vowing to live there one day. She did eventually do just that, learning to downhill ski and developing a life-long love of the Rockies. While working for Carter Oil Company in Denver, her boss Betty Thomas introduced her to her brother George Jonas, a landman in Illinois with the same company. The couple married on June 19, 1951 after a long-distance courtship and settled in Mattoon, Illinois. The family grew quickly and job-related relocations took them to Carmi, Illinois; Oklahoma City and Enid, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas and Evansville, Indiana. The Jonases finally settled in Littleton in 1968.
Audrey highly valued education, both for her children and herself. She was a great encourager of her children, providing them opportunities for sports, music and dance lessons, scouts, travel and other activities. When her children were young, she participated in a women’s study group at her church and occasionally also found time to play bridge, take square dancing lessons, sew, knit and paint.
As her children became independent, she earned an Associate of Arts from Arapahoe Community College and at age 50, a Bachelor of Arts in History from Metropolitan State University. She went on to work for an oil company for several years.
Audrey was a person of great faith and very active in the Catholic parishes of her various homes, but particularly St. Mary Catholic Parish in Littleton. She was a founding member of the Word of Love prayer group and played guitar for prayer services. One of her life’s proudest achievements was receiving a Certificate in Biblical Studies from the four-year Catholic Biblical School program, where she went on to work in an administrative capacity.
An avid cross country skier, Audrey loved trips to the mountains with her family and friends. In retirement, she and her husband took many trailer-camping adventures in the U.S., including Alaska, as well as trips to Mexico, Hawaii, England, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Egypt and Israel. She looked forward to visits with her siblings in Nebraska where they enjoyed playing Sheephead and talking about life on the farm and their extended family. They also travelled together to Branson, Missouri and on several Caribbean cruises. She was an active Silver Sneakers member of the Arapahoe Community College Fitness Center, where she walked a mile several times a week until the COVID pandemic.
Audrey was predeceased by her husband George J. Jonas, Jr., a son Paul T. Jonas, her parents Joseph and Cecilia M. Lange and her brothers Quintin E., Luverne (Bud)E., and the Rev. Timothy J. Lange and a daughter-in-law Pamela Jonas. She is survived by her sister Verda Cardwell, sister-in-law Betty J. Thomas, children Mary C. Wallan (Peter) of Sharon, Massachusetts, Joseph Lance Jonas of Denver, and John Curtis Jonas (Supak) of Littleton, daughter-in-law Deborah L. Jonas of Denver and her seven beloved grandchildren – Matthew, Eric, Brad, Joseph, Sophie, Peter, and Phoenix.
During her long life and even as she struggled with dementia, Audrey taught us to be grateful and accepting, to praise God and be a good friend especially to those in need, to learn all we can, be thrifty, give life our best effort, do more than expected and to never, ever give up. She was a loving, guiding light to her family and she is sorely missed.
A funeral mass to celebrate Audrey’s life will be held on 11:00 Thursday, December 2 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Littleton, Colorado. Burial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to Catholic Charities (www.ccdenver.org) or Denver Rescue Mission (www.denverrescuemission.org).
If you are unable to attend the service in person, the service will be live streaming. Please click here: https://youtu.be/Qw7TAHqnsoo
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