Mary Jean “Jerre” (Campbell) Jones at the age of 99, passed away on November 22, 2021 in Casper, Wyoming; his 71-year-old house. She was born April 25, 1922 in Spencer, Iowa, and grew up in a free “tomboy” after losing her mother at a young age and was fortunate to have a kind father who instilled a sense of commitment. community in Jerre and his little brother. , Jim. She attended Yankton College in South Dakota, where she graduated in English and Liberal Arts.
Summers were spent working at a sanatorium in Concord, Mass. and at a steel mill in Gary, Indiana as part of the war effort. Jerre was the first female snake handler and tour guide at the Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, in 1942. First day on the job, Jerre was entwined in snakes and photographed for a tourist postcard. Jerre went on to become a reporter for the Rapid City Journal, although her first newspaper job was at The Spencer Reporter, which sealed her fate as a longtime photographer and journalist.
She met Robert Jones over a weekend at Devils Tower in 1949; she and Bob married in 1950 and settled in Casper.
With a growing family, Jerre began advertising for the school system and later for the Natrona Public Library, where she made a circle of friends who still meet every week. Jerre started working for the Casper Shopper – which later became the Casper Journal. She was selling advertising; eventually became a journalist; then editor-in-chief, at which point owner John Gariety said of Jerre that the Casper Journal was his journal.
Her favorite job was as a feature film writer interviewing alumni in Casper and surrounding areas for “Jaywalking with Jerre”. Still modest, even the editor swept floors, brewed coffee, missed paychecks, anything that could help keep the Journal afloat during downturns in the economy.
After retiring, she and Bob traveled extensively in their Volkswagen bus; from Alaska to Florida, from San Diego to Nova Scotia. Her life’s trajectory took a turn in 1972 with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Surviving cancer led her to a passionate “career” of volunteerism that lasted until July of this year, when she attended her last American Cancer Society “Relay For Life”. She was a constant force with American Cancer Society community programs and events supporting cancer research.
Jerre’s dedication to public service would bring surprising honors. Being the first recipient of the Jeffersonian Public Service Award for Wyoming could have been his greatest honor. Among others, she received the St. George Prize from the American Cancer Society.
Reading and writing were favorite pastimes; Jerre greatly appreciated his book club and his group of writers. She was a strong supporter of the Democratic Party, firmly believed in the right to vote, and was convinced that climate change is disastrous.
Jerre was predeceased by her husband, Bob; brother, Jim Campbell; grandson, Michael Jones; and nephew, Tom Dameron last month.
She is survived by her children, Jim (Ann) of Casper, Bob (Viana) of Edgerton, Clark of Casper and Suzanne (Wes) of Laramie; six grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the “American Cancer Society” or “No One Left Behind”.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 10:30 am on December 7, 2021. Masks are encouraged. (Zoom available on uucasper.org – click on Participate in an online service) Jerre loved books, loved reading, loved knowledge. If you wish, please bring a book to donate to the Natrona County Public Library Book Sale.