Linda Huffman Jones died April 30, 2010, surrounded by devoted family and friends. Born Aug. 24, 1944, in Rockford, Ill., to Hal and Naomi (Evans) Huffman of Loves Park, Linda was a career human rights activist and a lifelong student, teacher and traveler. Guided by deep faith, she devoted herself to helping the oppressed, the poor and the sick. Linda graduated as salutatorian of Harlem High School in 1962, then earned her B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Millikin University, spending her junior year at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, Africa. She earned a master’s degree in teaching from Antioch College.
She married the Rev. David Jones in 1969 and earned a master’s degree in Philosophy in Education from Roosevelt University in 1971. The couple was assigned to Seoul, South Korea as Presbyterian missionaries. Linda taught at Yonsei University and became deeply involved in human rights work and the movement for true democracy in that country. Her heroic work was recognized in 2003 by the Korean government. The movement is documented in the book, “More Than Witnesses,” which she co-authored. Upon returning to Chicago in 1973, she coordinated the Church Committee for Human Rights in Asia. While raising two wonderful children, she also taught ESL and history to public school students, coordinated the Chicago CROP Hunger Walk and served Chicago-area churches pastored by David in DeKalb, Des Plaines and Norwood Park.
She earned her master’s degree in divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, and was preparing to work in prison ministry when she was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2000. Cancer wellness centers in greater Chicago helped her greatly. After retiring to Rockford in 2005, she founded Healing Pathways—Cancer Resource Center so that people in her hometown could benefit from the services that helped her. She spoke at its opening ceremony on March 23, 2010.
She is survived by her husband, Rev. David Jones; daughter Julia Jones (Michael Mann), Carol Stream, Ill.; son Jeffrey Jones (Jessica), St. Paul, Minn.; granddaughter Michelle Naomi Mann; her mother, Naomi Huffman Whyte (Elmer) of Loves Park, Ill.; brothers Gary (Debby) Huffman, Elgin, Ill.; Rick (Linda) Huffman, Tallahassee, Fla.; Brad Huffman (Michele Bradley), Machesney Park, Ill.; and sister Janine (Gary) Pumilia, Rockford, Ill., as well as nieces and nephews Ryan and Sarah Huffman; Blake and Rebecca Nunes; Hannah Huffman, Ryan Bingham and Leah Bradley. She is also survived by a worldwide network of very dear friends. Her father preceded her in death.
Linda was an extraordinary and fun mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother and friend. She loved traveling the world, visiting national parks, learning about other cultures, playing games, gardening and bird watching. Most of all, she loved justice and showed kindness to all people, inspiring those around her to do likewise.
Submitted by Rev. David Jones and Pamela Fackler Nelson ’66