I was born December 3, 1918, on a small farm near Ashland, Missouri, the youngest of six children to William and Pearl (Bullard) Jones. Very early our mother taught us that being poor was no disgrace but being uneducated was. My education started by walking with two of my brothers to a one-room country school with one teacher who taught grades 1 to 8.
It was many years later when I was working my way through the University of Missouri that I answered an ad for a “babysitter” and housekeeper for a government engineer moving to Columbia, Missouri to build a U.S. Post Office. His wife was ill, and they had two children, ages 4 and 6. That engineer was Herbert Olmsted of Lawrence, Kansas and a University of Kansas graduate who worked for the government as an engineer for projects in seven central states.
When his project in Columbia was finished, he was transferred to Springfield, Missouri where he lost his wife and later when I was offered the permanent “housekeeper and sitter” position I accepted. We married in 1939 and I became a member of that nomadic life. The war was involved in and his projects now included hospitals, prisons, schools and housing developments.
Our first year the children went to five different schools, not in just different cities, but different states: Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Herb and I agreed that was not fair to them and since his mother was living in Lawrence, I would move so they could have a normal school life. A great decision for the Olmsted family who welcomed another son in 1946.
It is now 2017 and I will be age 99 in December. Instead of the usual obituary notice I decided to report my history while I am still able. My years have been blessed in many ways, 21 years as Miss Jones, 34 years as Mrs. Olmsted, 5 years as Mrs. George Bradshaw and 34 years as Mrs. Penny Jones.
The years have been filled with good and bad moments. In 1939 I became a member of Beta Sigma Phi, a worldwide Civic Organization. I have tried to live by an excerpt from one of their rituals: “If the road I take becomes obscured by dust, give me skill and grace to pave it with stars and transmute the dust into stardust.” Only God knows how and when the road will end.
I realize this is strange, but I’ve had more than my share of joy and good fortune due to the rewards from Lawrence and wonderful husbands, family and friends. Thanks to all of you!
I was born a Missourian, but I’ll die a Kansan! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Faye is survived by her loving son, David Olmsted and his wife, Jessica: her daughter, Betsy Faulkner; her daughter-in-law, Carol Olmsted and her numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The family plans a Celebration of Life for Faye on Saturday, May 28, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Lawrence Country Club in Lawrence. The family plans a private inurnment at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence.
Memorial contributions may be made in Faye’s name to VNA Nursing and LMH Endowment or charity of choice and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.