Norma Atherholt Jones


Norma Atherholt Jones died Friday, August 28, at her home by her daughter Deborah’s side. She was 91.

Norma was born in Norwood, Pa., to Stella Flannigan and William Isaac Atherholt. She graduated from Glennor High School. Upon graduation she worked as a secretary for an insurance company in Philadelphia.

When she was 21, she and her mother boarded a train to an air base in Casper, Wyo., so she could marry her boyfriend, Oliver Cromwell Jones. The newlyweds spent three weeks together before he was sent overseas. Three months later, his plane was shot down over England. After many tearful months, along came her “Prince Charming.” A neighbor introduced her to a friend of her late husband, who had just returned from a POW camp in Poland. Within a year she married Curtis S. Jones, and they enjoyed 68 years of friendship and marriage.

After marrying, Norma and Curtis lived in Wallingford, Pa.; Beaver, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; East Liverpool, Ohio; and then finally retired in Swarthmore, Pa., for 16 years. At the urging of her daughter, they then moved to Martha’s Vineyard and resided at Havenside. They loved their apartment and the tenants.

She loved the time spent with her grandchildren, and always tried to make it special. She loved having the family for Sunday dinners, which always started with grace and then were followed with board games.

She loved to travel, and attended 29 Elderhostels all over the world with her husband. She was a member of women’s clubs and was active in three bridge groups. A lifelong Episcopalian, she said one of her favorite things was being on Altar Guild. Her favorite holiday was Fourth of July.

Norma believed in friendship, family and fellowship. Many of her friends and relationships date back 70 years, as she remained in contact with birthday and holiday cards.

Norma is survived by her brother Gordon Atherholt and his wife Rita; her daughter Nancy VanBlaricum, her husband Paul, and granddaughter Brynn; daughter Deborah Koines, her husband Peter, and granddaughter Erica Koines and her partner Joseph Zapata; great-grandson T.J. Zapata, granddaughter Olivia Giordano and her husband Carl, and grandson Nicholas Koines. She was predeceased by her sister Florence.

Services will be held Sept. 12 at 4 pm at Grace Episcopal Church, Vineyard Haven.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Grace Church or the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs. Visit for an online guestbook and more information.