Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can surely attest, Beverly Jones truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times. Nothing brought Bev greater joy than spending time with her loved ones, even in the simplest of moments. She poured her heart and soul into all that she did, and she was well known for her kindness and her dedication to her family. Dearly loved, Bev will be forever missed.
Although the 1930s were primarily blanketed by the harsh days of the Great Depression, there was much to celebrate in the lives of Arthur Frederick and Lilian Cecila (Meyer) Habbershaw as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Beverly Jean on April 23, 1932, in Bay City, Michigan.
Growing up, Bev was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised alongside her siblings, Helen, Irene, and Guy who were nineteen, seventeen and ten respectively when she was born. In 1937, the Habbershaw family settled into the house Arthur had built on Wheeler Road in Bay City. They always did their shopping on Saturday mornings, as Lilian had never learned to drive. Bev loved visiting Guterman’s Meat Market. One of the brothers who owned the store would always give her a piece of bologna to chew on. Throughout her childhood, Bev enjoyed playing ball and exploring the woods behind Yonker’s farm. Her passion for reading was nurtured by her sister, Irene, who would regularly bring children’s books from the library for Bev to read. Bev also spent much of her time with her older brother, Guy, and his friends, even going along on some of his dates. Some of Bev’s fondest memories included days at the beach, bike rides, riding in the rumble seat of Guy’s car, and tobogganing in the winter.
During WWII, Bev’s sisters returned to live with the Habbershaw family as their husbands were in the military. Guy was away serving as well. Bev’s evenings were regularly spent listening to the radio and playing Chinese checkers with her mother while her sisters wrote letters to their husbands. In her spare time, Irene taught Bev how to crochet granny squares, launching her love for crocheting. However, tragedy would soon strike the family when Guy was killed at the young age of 22. He had been training to become a fighter pilot near the Ontario Army Air Field in California. The Habbershaw family was devastated, and though they learned to live with the loss, each family member was forever changed. That same year, they welcomed Bev’s first nephew, who was a joyous bright spot in a very dark time.
While pursuing her education, Bev worked very hard to succeed. She attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School, which was a two-room cement block building. In the seventh grade, Bev transferred to what would become Handy High School, along with a friend. She took two years of bookkeeping, typing, and shorthand classes in order to prepare herself for a co-op job at Rosenbury’s Furniture before graduating in 1950. Bev later worked with the United States Navy at Defoe Shipyard. After moving to Dearborn, she temporarily stayed with her sister, Irene, and her brother-in-law, Frank. Bev eventually settled down with a roommate and secured a job working as a secretary at the Ford Motor Company.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Bev as she met the man who would soon become the love of her life. His name was Willian Nathan “Nate” Jones, and the two first met at a dance in Detroit. There was an instant spark between Bev and Nate. It didn’t take long for the couple to realize that they were made for each other. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Bev and Nate were married on May 2, 1959, at Mt. Olivet Community Methodist Church in Dearborn. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds enjoyed a reception hosted by Irene and Frank at their home on Palmer Street. Bev and Nate settled into a home on Westfield Street in Livonia that same year.
All who knew Bev can certainly agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her loved ones above all else. She and Nate were overjoyed to welcome their children, Craig and Nora, into their hearts and home. Bev only learned that she was expecting twins eight days before giving birth, so she had to scramble to buy the second items she needed before welcoming the twins on July 11, 1961, three weeks before her due date. She truly thrived in her role as a mother. Bev was the full-time manager of her family, and she loved being a stay-at-home mother. She was very involved in the lives of her children, and she always attended their activities and sporting events.
Bev always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many family members. She was the “cool auntie” to her nieces and nephews, David, Kathy, Paul, Tom, Jeanne, and Linda on the Habbershaw side and Susan, David, Brian, Laura and Barbara on the Jones side. Since Nate often traveled for his job, Bev was grateful to live near her Jones in-laws and Irene. Later in life, she was thrilled to become a grandmother to Erin, Jeff, and Jack. Bev adored her grandchildren and doted on them whenever she could. She was always up for taking them on an adventure, whether it be to the zoo, the apple cider mill, or a museum. Bev was fortunate enough to see her family grow with the addition of great grandchildren as well.
Never one to sit still for long, Bev pursued many hobbies in her free time. She moved on from granny squares to more sophisticated forms of crocheting, and over the years, she gave away 52 homemade afghans as wedding presents. While her children were growing up, Bev volunteered in their school libraries. She later volunteered at the Livonia Senior Center’s library as well. Bev was a member of the General Federation of Woman’s Club Dearborn, also known as GFWC, for 35 years. She was a firm believer in GFCW’s mission of “Helping Lives and Communities Through Acts of Service.” Bev served as club president, co-president, and Southeastern district president, and she was also a board member of Girlstown, an organization founded by GFCW that provided residential services to young female victims of abuse and neglect. She worked with Girlstown for over 15 years, serving as treasurer for eight. Bev was a faithful member of Redford Aldersgate United Methodist Church for nearly 60 years. She volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, a greeter, and a part-time receptionist. More recently, Bev lived at Woodhaven Retirement Community, where she was able to make several lasting friendships and participate in many activities. She adored the staff and aides.
When reflecting on the life of Beverly Jones, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. Her faith formed the unshakeable foundation of all that she did. Bev’s primary focus in life was forming deep and personal relationships with those around her. She was a dedicated member of her community, and she was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others. She was the last of her generation in the Habbershaw/Jones families and was the beloved matriarch Bev leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on.
Beverly Jean Jones of Livonia, MI passed away on April 12, 2023 at the age of 90. She was born in Bay City, Michigan on April 23, 1932 to Arthur Frederick and Lilian Cecila (Meyer) Habbershaw. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband William Nathan (Nate) Jones, sisters and brothers in-law Irene and Frank Sauve, Helen and Ben Lambert, brother Guy Habbershaw, nephew David Sauve and in-laws Jack and Lois Jones, Paul and Helen Jones, Earl and Kathleen Jones. She was the last of her generation in our family and admittingly enjoyed the title of Matriarch.
She is survived by her beloved twins Craig (Judy) Jones and Nora (Bryon Birch) Jones, three adored grandchildren Erin (Jaime) Sluis, Jeff (Steffanie) Hale, Jack Jones and five precious great grandchildren Sawyer, Oliver, Paisley, Ellie and Addie. She is also survived by three generations of nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
Beverly was an avid reader, crossword puzzle enthusiast, hot fudge sundae connoisseur and crocheting extraordinaire. She enjoyed bowling and golfing, but volunteering was her passion. She made many friends through her volunteer work and church, traveled across Michigan, and most important, she was loved and adored by her family. She will be missed by all who knew her.