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Obituary for DELORES JONES
Delores Jean Taylor Jones was born, March 26, 1929 to Herschel and Marguerite Taylor of Omaha, Nebraska. Delores was the oldest of five children. She received a full scholarship from her high school to attend Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina. She graduated from Allen University as a member of the Faith Singers and a featured soloist for the university's music department.
During a summer program at Virginia State University, she met a student majoring in education, Louis Peter Jones. They were united in matrimony on June 14, 1954. They were educators in Beaufort, South Carolina and Lexington, Virginia. She featured as a soloist for Robert E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church in Lexington, Virginia. Later the couple relocated to Baltimore, MD to teach in Baltimore City Public Schools. Delores graduated with a MA in Vocal Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She was gifted to sing in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
In 1971 Delores was featured in the world premiere of Menotti's opera, "The Most Important Man In the World" at Lincoln Center and Strauss' "Salome" in New York City. She also toured France and auditioned for several opera companies.
She attended Berkshire Music Camp in Massachusetts. She sang with the Washington National Symphony, Peabody Symphony, Washington Civic Opera Association, Arlington Opera, and New York Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
In Baltimore, she attended Church of Redeemer Episcopal Church and Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church where she was a dedicated member of the choir and a featured soloist. She became an instructor and vocal coach for Morgan State University, Eubie Blake Center and Arena Playhouse Theatre. She also enjoyed singing in the Baltimore City Parks for the annual Parks and Recreation Summer Programs. Delores founded the Harbor Opera Company in 1989. The ensemble' consisted of high school students from Frederick Douglass High School and local colleges. She wanted to expose "young people" to classical music and develop local talent while giving them a venue to perform operas and serve the community. She used to tell everyone she met "I am going to teach you how to sing" and she truly believed that. After Mrs. Jones retired from the school system, she continued to substitute teach for several years until her late husband became very ill.
Her family affectionately called Delores "The Diva." She had a passion for singing, teaching children, solving puzzles, playing card games, traveling, communicating with and entertaining others. She also enjoyed cooking, dining and spending time with family and close friends.
Delores made a smooth transition from this life to her eternal home on Sunday, June 14, 2015 from My Parents' Place Assisted Living in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Delores leaves to cherish her memory, two sisters, Frances Jackson of San Francisco, California and LaVerne Boe of Phoenix, Arizona; one daughter, Gloria Denise Smith (Jeffrey) of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland; three grandchildren, Christina of Chicago, Illinois, Lauren and Justin of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, and one great grandson, Liam Alexander Fraser Smith of Upper Marlboro, Maryland; nieces, nephews, and cousins in Nebraska as well as the east and west coasts; and a devoted friend, Saralynn Clark of Baltimore.