Marilyn Jones, Co-Founder of Grandmothers for Peace, Dies at 83

Marilyn Rector Jones, a 50-year resident of Edina who co-founded Grandmothers for Peace and served as president of the Interfaith Peacemakers of Edina, died on Dec. 16 at the age of 83.

In the 1970s and '80s, spurred by the arms race and the specter of nuclear war, Jones played a prominent role in organizing nuclear protests, holding public forums and recruiting local churches into the anti-war movement.

“She was very much opposed to any kind of national policy that favored use of military force,” Hugh Jones, her husband of 58 years, told the Star Tribune. “She wanted people to look at the consequences to what was being done and consider the results. She wanted people to think through the issues.”
Grandmothers for Peace, a group she founded in the '80s with five friends, persists to this day and holds monthly meetings at the Edina Library.

"Marilyn was one of the founding Grannies and, over the years, contributed so much—always committed to peace and justice," the group wrote on its website.

“She was concerned about fairness, about what was right and good and what was wrong,” Jones' friend Jane Venell, one of Grandmothers for Peace’s original members, told the Star Tribune. “She was intensely curious about what was happening in the world. Her idea was to be informed about the issues and offer that information to other people. She was good at asking questions. She got others to think.”

Born in Baltimore, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1952 and moved to Edina with her husband in 1961. 

Raising four children in Edina, she served as co-director of the Unity Nursery School in the basement of the First Universalist Church and volunteered at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in south Minneapolis.

She is survived by her husband; her four children, Keith, David, Thomas and Meredith; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

Mike B. January 13, 2014 at 07:24 PM
No one "wants" war. It's the Democrat Party who has weakened our national defense, which has enabled terrorist/communist/socialist countries to threaten the USA. A strong national defense is the best solution for peace, but the left-wing pacifists ignore that fact. It's the reason why most wars have occurred or been caused by Democrat Party presidents.


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