Esther Jean Clayton Jonas, mother of Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Past President Pat Jonas, MD, lived 92 years of loyalty, patience, and presence before her peaceful death on July 21. She always took her time while dutifully fulfilling her roles as wife, mother, friend, relative, member, and citizen. One of the great women of Liberty since 1944 when she arrived from Dayton to marry Arthur C. “Scud” Jonas in the Liberty United Brethren Church, she was kindhearted to everyone.
While adding sons Mike and Pat to her family on Back Street, she slowly expanded her connections through church, community, and events. The Liberty Church Socials where she donated baked goods, Liberty women’s groups such as The Secret Sisters and Home Extension, Scud’s activities such as the Liberty Fire Department and Monarch Marking Systems, Jefferson Schools, and neighborhood events such as the Back Street Party allowed her to show her open heart and acceptance of others.
“I love your Mom” was a common sentiment expressed to Mike and Pat from people in the Liberty Church, the Liberty Community, relatives (especially all of the cousins), neighbors, and friends. She was like a second mom to Peggy and Donna Allread.
Esther was proceeded in death by parents, Fanny Cappel Clayton and William Jesse Clayton; sister, Lois Clayton Winge; and husband, Arthur C. “Scud” Jonas. She is survived by sons Michael A. Jonas (Paddy); Arthur P. “Pat” Jonas, MD, (Rebecca); grandchildren Mike Jonas, Matt Jonas (Lora), Mark Jonas, Patrick Jonas, Dan Jonas (Maya), and Phil Jonas (Renee): and great-grandchildren Mike Jonas, Kristen Jonas, Kaitie Jonas, Spencer Jonas (Cassie – soon to deliver Olivia Grace Jonas, the first great-great granddaughter), Amanda Jonas, Natalie Jonas, Andrew Jonas, Mila Jonas, and Harrison Arthur Jonas.
She outlived the Liberty women from the “old days” except Joy Jonas Hoffman, Crockey Jonas Lenk, and Pete Hammond, her pal who went out for sandwiches with her. Gladys, Henrietta, Mickie, Pauline, Helen, Clarbel, Evy, Pearl, Ruth, Dee and others have preceded her to Heaven and may be pleased when she arrives.
Fanny Cappel and William Jesse Clayton raised her well on Orchard Street in Dayton, just down the block from Roosevelt High School, with her older sister Lois (Winge- mother of Jon, Nora, and Sara who all live in CA). They built a home on Back Street (now Longbourne Street) in the late 1940’s across the street from Art, Esther, Mike, and Pat. Esther became part-time caretaker of Fanny when she developed severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and was wheelchair bound (before the light, slick modern wheelchairs). Mike and Pat were big winners with both sets of grandparents within 100 feet (did you say ice cream?). Grandpa Art Jonas had a pastry truck come to our house on many Saturday mornings just in case the boys were hungry (as he had been growing up in a tiny home with seven or so siblings and a father they referred to as “The Kaiser”- yes he was from Germany). Esther may have had to contend with two sons who were a bit spoiled.
She sewed and baked a lot. Her sticky-buns, buckeyes, and pecan pie are a favorite in the family and extended family. Mike and Pat used to love to lick the beaters of the mixer that was supporting Esther’s baking of chocolate items.
God is Good. His Love is Forever, especially through the hearts of mothers. The kindness and love poured through Esther’s heart and soul is forever with God. On earth as it is in Heaven.
Esther was very thankful for the people mentioned above who she was blessed with, and the God who has always been there for her.