Virginia V. Jones, known as "Virgie," died Aug. 16 at the age of 92. Mrs. Jones was born in Raymond, Wash. on Nov. 26, 1917. She grew up in Berkeley, and was introduced to Alamo in the spring of 1937 by her fiancÚ and future husband, Al Jones. It was love at first sight - for both ... Al and Alamo.
The Jones family was a founding family in Alamo, arriving in 1846 - making the choice to continue on when the Donner party chose to wait. Virgie was fascinated by the history of the Jones family's trek to Alamo. It was this early fascination with Alamo and the Jones family history that led her to become "Alamo's historian" and the author of four books. Her first book was "Remembering Alamo ... and Other Things Along the Way" (1975). This was followed by a sequel, "Historical Persons and Places ... in San Ramon Valley" (1977). Virgie moved in as a bona fide Alamo resident in 1948.
Virgie honed her writing skills by writing for the local newspapers. She wrote for the Walnut Kernel from 1953-1958; the Valley Pioneer from 1962-1970 and from 1979-1980; and finally for Alamo Magazine from 1993 until just recently. She was extremely active in local organizations beginning with the Girl Scouts and then joining the Alamo Mothers' Club and the San Ramon Valley Republican Women's Club in 1950 and the Alamo Women's Club in 1953 where she was on the executive board, served as president from 1980-82 and was in her 57th year of membership. She joined the San Ramon Valley Order of Eastern Star and the San Ramonettes in 1954.
In 1959, she joined the Papaya Branch that raised funds for the Children's Hospital Medical Center and also the Tioga Guild that raised funds for John Muir Memorial Hospital. She was a founding member of the San Ramon Valley Historical Society in 1970 and a director with the Contra Costa County Historical Society in 1980. She was an organizer and founding member of the California Writers Club (Mt. Diablo branch) in 1987.
Her community involvement included memberships in the San Ramon Valley Library Committee, the Contra Costa County Jail Study Committee, serving as a trustee for the Alamo-Lafayette Cemetery District and numerous other organizations.
Over the years, she received many awards and commendations including: the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library Award, the Golden Poet Award (for seven years), and an award from the California State Senate for distinguished and outstanding leadership abilities and initiative for community and state involvements. She received the Citizen of the Day Award from KABL Radio Station in 1979 and was named the Grand Marshall of Alamo's first parade in 1992, and was honored by the Alamo Rotary as Citizen of the Year in 1993.
She was a great helpmate to her husband's organizations' activities as well - including the Chamber of Commerce, the Alamo Dad's Club, the Contra Costa Real Estate Board, the Boy Scouts and many others.
She got the most satisfaction from doing unheralded personal projects for specifically challenged groups. One example was when she headed up a group to make afghans for amputees through Oak Knoll Hospital. Her favorite project was when she personally knit caps for "crack babies" -- a child born to a mother who was a user of crack cocaine during pregnancy -- through John Muir Memorial Hospital. Virgie had a great deal of sympathy for these babies and, in her spare time, she knit woolen caps for them. Each of the caps was unique with a different color scheme than the one before. She spent time each day until she had completed a total of 2,600 individual caps.
Virgie is survived by her son Garrett of Alamo and his wife, Liz, and Virgie's two granddaughters, Jacquelyn, a sixth grade student at Stone Valley School in Alamo; and Jenna Robbert and her husband, Jim, of Boulder, Colorado. Virgie will be buried in the Alamo Cemetery where she will be reunited with her husband, Al. A celebration of her life is scheduled for 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 17 at the Alamo Women's Club.