Louise Neville Jones, a former journalist for Gannett Westchester Newspapers and an active resident of White Plains for 70 years, died Monday after a brief illness. She was 94 years old.
Mrs. Jones had been a reporter for The Reporter Dispatch and the Bronxville Review-Press Reporter until her retirement in the 1990s. She was the wife of the late J. Franklin Jones, a longtime reporter and columnist for The Reporter Dispatch who died in 1985.
Mrs. Jones was born Louise leBlanc deMontalvo Neville on October 16, 1916 in Manhattan. She was the daughter of Robert Neville, a journalist, and Marie deMontalvo, novelist and journalist. She was raised in Manhattan, surrounded not only by the literary world of her parents, but also the grim realities of the Great Depression, both of which had a profound impact on her character. She attended both Swarthmore College and Barnard College, but life intervened and she finished her bachelor’s degree in English Literature later in life at Empire State College. Mrs. Jones came to White Plains in the 1930s to manage a branch of Brentano’s Bookstore, and met her husband when he came into the store to buy stationery. They married on Oct, 23, 1942 at the Little Church Around the Corner in Manhattan and made their home in White Plains, where they raised a family of five children and became active members of their church, school and civic community.
In addition to her journalistic career, Mrs. Jones served as director of public relations for the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency during the 1960s, where she documented in words and photographs the gutting and rebuilding of the city’s downtown.. As a result of that experience she became an impassioned advocate for the preservation of open space and affordable housing in White Plains.
She also worked in the Admissions Department of Purchase College in the 1970s. Mrs. Jones was an active member of The White Plains Presbyterian Church, where she had been a deacon, an elder and a member of the Session. She had served in many local organizations over the years, including the White Plains Beautification Foundation, the Food Pantry, the local Audubon Society, the Salvation Army, the White Plains Woman’s Club, and various open-space and housing advocacy groups. Until her death, Mrs. Jones lived independently in her own home, beautifying her yard with her flower and vegetable gardens.
She is survived by her daughters, Wendy Neville Jones, Hilaire Jones Lennon and Darcy Neville Jones; her sons in law, Jack Lennon and Edward Frost, and four grandchildren, Kynan Jones Burke, Kelly Lennon-Martucci, Bryan John Lennon and Sarah Jones Dittmeier; her grandson-in-law Nick Martucci; her handyman and friend, Sid Miller, and many surrogate children and friends. Visitation will be Thursday 4 to 8 P.M. A memorial service will be held at White Plains Presbyterian Church at a later date. In lieu flowers, a donation to Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester 311 North Street White Plains, NY 10605 in her name would be appreciated. McMahon, Lyon & Hartnett FH 491 Mamaroneck Ave White Plains, NY 10605 (914)949-7777