NORFOLK — Services for Marie “Ida” Jones, 89, Norfolk, formerly of Bloomfield, will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 14, at Brockhaus-Howser-Fillmer Funeral Home in Norfolk. John Petersen will officiate.
Visitation will begin two hours prior to services at the funeral home.
She died Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at Stanton Health Center in Stanton.
Marie Ida-Ladean Volquardsen Jones, daughter of William and Alvina Volquardsen, was born June 26, 1930, at rural Lindy. Known as Ida, she was baptized and confirmed at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Lindy. She attended grade school at a country school near the family farm in Santee Township and graduated from Bloomfield High School in May 1948.
That year, Ida was accepted to learn horsemanship by Cal and Ruth Thompson of the White Horse Ranch of Naper. She excelled in all aspects of horsemanship at the White Horse Ranch, even becoming its director in 1949, but Ida’s true talent was Roman Riding, becoming a feature rider for the Ranch’s White Horse Troupe as they toured and performed at events throughout the Midwest.
Most notably, she was the featured performer and Roman Rider when Warner Brothers came to the White Horse Ranch to film the movie short “To Ride a White Horse.”
Ida’s Roman Riding expertise didn’t go unnoticed, leading to her recruitment in the Roman Riding and jumping horse act The Valkyries and their Flying White Horses. Ida and the Valkyries performed at fairs, rodeos and rodeo championships around the United States, such as Cheyenne Frontier Days at Cheyenne, Wyo., Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo at Colorado Springs, Chicago Stock Yards, Boston Gardens and Madison Square Garden.
At Madison Square Garden, Ida performed with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans; she also got to work with and become friends with singers like the Sons of the Pioneers and Guy Mitchell, and actors such as the Cisco Kid (Duncan Reynaldo), and Red Ryder (Jim Bannon). If you asked Ida, she’d tell you the best part of her travels were the people she met and the friends she made.
In 1960, Ida left the horse show business after the tragic death of her little brother, returning to help her Dad and Mom on the family farm by the Devil’s Nest near Lindy. Not long after Ida’s return to farm life at Lindy, she met and married Neal Jones; to this union came two children, Terri and Bill.
Ida and Neal raised their kids, milked cows, farmed and grew cucumbers; there were many summer days picking cucumbers, then hauling the pails and bushel baskets of cucumbers over the dirt road that became known as Cucumber Ave. in order to get them to Verdigre and the Gedney Corporation cucumber buyer.
Also, on the farm, Ida had flowers; she loved flowers, with major areas of the front yard sectioned off for all types of perennial and annual flowers. She and her neighbors would admire each other’s flowers, exchange bulbs and “cuttings” of plants and share coffee and dessert.
In 1976, Ida and Neal parted ways; Ida hired on at Becton Dickinson east of Niobrara, working there many years before transferring to the Becton Dickinson plant in Columbus.
At her home in Columbus, she surrounded herself with flowers; many of Ida’s irises and lilies were bulb stock from the flowers she looked upon and helped raise, as a child from her mother’s garden on the farm.
Ida retired from Becton Dickinson and moved to Norfolk in 1994 to be closer to her family. Retirement didn’t dampen her work ethic, as she worked in various positions at Walmart, the 3M Manufacturing Plant and Shamrock Nursery. She also didn’t lose her love of flowers with her home in Norfolk always surrounded with flowers.
Ida always had an adventuresome spirit and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people, which made especially rewarding the time she spent volunteering with the American Legion, serving cookies and playing cards with the residents of the Norfolk Veterans Home, and helping place flags at the graves in the local Norfolk cemeteries.
Through all aspects of Ida’s life, she kept an abiding love and belief in our Lord Jesus Christ, loving and treating all as her neighbor regardless of who they were. Her hard work, tell the truth, be kind, positive attitude left an impression on all who met her and made the world a little bit brighter having her in it. Though Ida may have had many difficult trails in life, she is now riding happy trails in heaven.
Those remaining to cherish her memory are her children, Terri (Jim) Shafer of Stanton and Bill (Irene) Jones of Bellevue; her grandchildren, Rachel Shafer of Stanton and Melissa Jones of Bellevue; a sister, Betty Stewart of West Point; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Alvina Volquardsen; her brothers, Harold, Alvin, William, Robert and Richard; and a granddaughter, Jessica Shafer.