Lynn Richards Jones

1943 - 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Lynn Richards Jones, a folk artist well-known for her intricate scissor cuttings, passed away peacefully Friday evening, January 22, 2021, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. She was 77. Like many loving couples who have spent their lives together, it might be said that Lynn died of a broken heart following the death of her husband of 53 years, David Jones, less than six months ago on July 28, 2020. 

Lynn Meredith Richards was born April 10, 1943, in Baltimore, Maryland, a daughter of Cooperstown natives William “Will” George Richards and the former Wanda Olmstead. At the time she was born the family was living in Baltimore where her father was employed by Martin Aircraft. Following his military service, the family moved back to Cooperstown, where Lynn was raised and graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1961. She furthered her education by attending SUNY New Paltz, Hartwick College, and graduated with honors from SUNY Cobleskill from the Nursery Education program. 

While living in Cooperstown, Lynn met David Jones, whose family had moved to Cooperstown in 1947, not long after his father, Louis Clark Jones, Ph.D., was named Director of the New York State Historical Association. On August 27, 1966, Lynn and David were married at The Cornwallville Church at The Farmers’ Museum. Following the ceremony, they rode by oxcart to Bump Tavern for the reception. 

In 1971, Lynn and David and their family moved to the Millbrook School in Millbrook where David taught English. In 1976 the family moved to Boca Raton, Florida, where David taught at St. Andrew’s School. They both loved being dorm parents, and Lynn served in several other capacities at the school. Following a tragic bicycle accident in 2001 that seriously injured David, the couple returned to Cooperstown in 2004 and made their home on Elm Street. 

A largely self-taught artist, Lynn was accomplished in the paper art of Scherenschnitte. When she was a girl, her paternal grandfather taught her the skills that she would develop into “scissor cutting” as an adult. She was encouraged by her husband, family, friends, and her husband’s students and developed as an artist through their support. Through the years her work was displayed in museums, including the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, and she was commissioned by Creative Playthings to design a Christmas store window and shopping bag.

Lynn truly enjoyed Cooperstown and often recalled fond memories of growing up in the Village. For a time she followed in her mother’s footsteps and served as a guide at the Fenimore House and also demonstrated spinning and weaving at The Farmers’ Museum. Her love of history and genealogy led her to be active in the Otsego Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (the DAR), which was realized through a descendant who served during the American Revolution. In a 2010 interview for the Cooperstown Graduate Program Community Stories program she said, “I love being here. It’s a small town, and it’s very true: you can take the girl to the city, but you can't take the small town out of her.”

Lynn is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Matthew William Richards Jones, MD and Cora Vegafria Jones of Cooperstown, and Jeremy Louis Clark Jones and Katherine Janiec Jones, Ph.D. of Boiling Springs, SC; four grandchildren, Phoebe Lynn Emerson Jones, Isabella Grace Richards Jones, William David Maxwell Jones, and Molly Foard Jones; a sister, Elisabeth Richards Jerson and husband, Robert L. Jerson of Springfield Center; a sister-in-law, Carol Loomis of Winthrop, MA; and several nieces and nephews. 

Later this year Lynn and David will be laid to rest in the Pickens Family plot in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.

Lynn loved animals and gave a home to many throughout her life. As a way of remembering Lynn, please consider a memorial gift to the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326. 

Arrangements are under the care of Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.