Pamela Ann Jones always wanted her children to eat their vegetables, and she’d even embarrass them in public to get her point across.
“That was Pam,” said Peyton Reinhart, Jones’ friend for more than 10 years.
When Jones was with the people who knew her best, her usual displays of shyness would disappear into thin air. Alexandra Reinhart, Peyton Reinhart’s daughter, said she considered Jones a second mother. Alexandra dated Pam’s son, Nathan, in middle school, and the two families quickly became close friends.
“She always took everyone in with open arms,” said Alexandra Reinhart.
Pamela Jones was the victim of the city's first murder since Dec. 26, 2005. Her son, Nathan Phillip Jones, has been arrested and charged with killing his mother, and is being held without bond at the Fairfax County jail. Because Nathan Jones recent deteriorating mental condition, according to family members, friends and neighbors, donations in honor of Pamela Jones should be made to NARSAD, the Mental Health Research Association, at www.narsad.org.
Pamela Jones was born in Sydney, Australia, June 24, 1948. She moved to the United States to attend nursing school more than 30 years ago, and never lost her thick Aussie accent. She married and settled down with her family in the United States, but Peyton Reinhart said the true Pamela Jones shined when she visited her home country. Her phone calls and letters always seemed more upbeat and confident, said Peyton Reinhart.
“She was in her element there,” said Peyton Reinhart. “She was sort of torn between the two countries.”
When people first met Jones, Alexandra Reinhart said she came across as shy and mousy, but all of that disintegrated with time and trust.
“When you got her with my mother, it wasn’t like that at all,” said Alexandra Reinhart.
JONES WAS FULL of character, life and humor, and while she might have given off an introverted first-impression, she was far from quiet. Neighbors said she would always say hello and talk with them briefly, but the Reinharts knew there was nothing brief about conversations with Pam.
“If you ever wanted to talk to Pam, you’d need to set aside a block of time,” said Peyton Reinhart. “We’d spend a minimum of three hours on the phone.”
The friends would spend so much time on the phone, Peyton Reinhart said they would often lose track of time and end up late picking the children up from school. Peyton Reinhart remembers those days fondly, even though she said they would feel awful when they realized they had kept their children waiting.
“Her children were her life,” said Peyton Reinhart.
At Jones’s memorial service, Thursday, May 18, Stephanie Jones spoke on behalf of her entire family about the May 12 death of Pamela Jones. Stephanie Jones read letters and poems to honor her mother’s memory, and as her voice cracked throughout her speech, it became clear to the more than 150 people in attendance just how loving and loved Pamela Jones was. A letter from Nathan Jones thanked his mother for being such a wonderful example and inspiration. Pamela Jones’ letter to her daughter, Stephanie, told her how it was love at first sight when she was born. Stephanie Jones also read a poem about a mother’s love, a poem her mom had given her years earlier.
“She was an incredible mother to her kids,” said Joe Lynn, Pamela Jones’ nephew. “She was just a great person.”
Carol Young, the sister of Jones’ husband, Dennis, described Pamela Jones as incredibly thoughtful. She remembered how Pamela would cut out newspaper clippings and send them to friends and family. Young lives in New York, and said she would frequently receive surprises in the mail from Pam.
“If she saw a neat little phrase or poem she’d want to share, she would send it,” said Young.
“She sent newspaper clippings all over,” said Gary Reinhart, Peyton Reinhart’s husband. “She’d put yellow post-its all over them saying ‘saw this, thought you’d like to read it’.”
Just as Pamela Jones would never put those she loved out of her thoughts, her family and friends will do the same for her.
“She was an enlightened, interesting, funny, wonderful friend,” said Peyton Reinhart. “I will miss her for the rest of my life.”