Barbara R. Jones

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September 27, 1938 - March 23, 2024

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Friday, March 29th from 2-4 p.m. at Moreland Funeral Home


Friday, March 29th at 4:00 p.m. at Moreland Funeral Home

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Barbara R. Jones, 85, of Galena, Ohio passed away peacefully at home on March 23, 2024. Barbara was born in Johnstown, PA on September 27, 1938, to parents Willard and Margaret Robinson. Barbara received her BA at Lycoming College where she met her loving husband of 65 years.

Barbara was a compassionate and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She loved having fun, helping others, and spending time with family and friends. Barbara adored her dream job of being a surrogate mom to 27 baby gorillas at the Columbus Zoo. Raising baby gorillas allowed her to travel internationally, appear on numerous national TV programs, and share her expertise with other zoos across the country. None of these "perks" influenced Barbara's love for her career. Her passion for raising baby gorillas came from the love she gave them with all her heart and soul.

Barbara is survived by her loving husband, William Bruce Jones; her wonderful children, Craig (Lynne) Jones and Christy Jones; the grandchildren she adored, Drake (Andrea) Jones, Megan (David) Jusseaume, Mark Fellows, and Madison McCandless; her precious great grandchildren, Leo, Claire and Sophie. Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, Willard and Margaret Robinson and her grandson, Landon Ramirez.

Friends may call at the MORELAND FUNERAL HOME, 55 E. Schrock Road, Westerville, OH. Visitation on Friday, March 29 from 2-4 p.m. with a memorial service immediately following a 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Heartland Hospice ( ), or your favorite charity.


DIANA EVANS - Apr 7, 2024

So sorry to hear about Barb. She was such an interesting delightful person. I met her in the 1980's at the zoo and enjoyed every minute we volunteered together

Mary Dickinson Smith - Apr 2, 2024

I loved Barb. She had the sweetest, gentlest soul. I learned so much from her. I helped in the gorilla nursery, raising Jumoke in 1990-1991. I think of her often and miss her. She has joined Sally, Camile and Diana and many beloved gorillas. May they all rest in peace.

Sterling M M Graham - Apr 1, 2024

Pam and I are very saddened and at the same time, warm with the memories of living next door to Barb and Bruce in Westerville. They day Barb brought Sheba the Chimpanzee home to care for her when Sheba jump the fence and sat on the swing set holding hands with our son Sean. She was such a wonderful and caring person. She was well know in the gorilla circles as we talked to a gorilla keeper at the Miami zoo who knew Barb very well. You will be missed.

Greg and Amber Calhoun - Mar 29, 2024

Greg and I were very sad to hear about Barbara's passing. Not only for the fact that this world is one less short of an angel on earth, but because her smile and humor always lightened our hearts. There was always comfort knowing we could look out our windows at your house and know she was over there making light of everything good and trying to just make every day as delightful as possible. We will miss the days of seeing her out in the front yard, putting feed out for any animal who was looking for a tasty treat. Sometimes we felt like we were in a Snow White movie with the assortment of animal's we'd see among the trees enjoying the goodies Barb put out for them. We believe they knew somehow that her home was one of safety and love for all animals. May the memories of Barb and all her antics and stories be even more cherished by her family and friends.

Debbie - Mar 28, 2024

Barb was a bright shining light. I have so many memories of her sharing her life experiences. She was always willing to tell us about her misadventures with such joy that we were laughing along with her. (I was lucky enough to be involved in a few of those side trips she would take.) Her smile and laughter will always be the first thing I remember. Barb did so much to advance the care of gorillas. She had and innate understanding of what was needed, and it was always given with love. Not only was she a wonderful gorilla mom, she was also a great teacher and passed on all she could to the rest of us. Barb we will continue to carry your light on within us.

Lisa Cuffy - Mar 28, 2024

There will never be another like Barb! My time in the nursery under Barb & Maureen's tutelage was made extra special watching the love, patience and expertise of such a gentle, wonderful soul being shared with animals that needed her and the humans who just enjoyed being around her. I have truly missed seeing Barb around the Zoo but I know she gave it is time to rest. Wishing comfort and peace to everyone in the Jones Family.

Debby Ames - Mar 28, 2024

I was so saddened when I heard of Barb’s passing. Barb was one of those rare people that come into your life that make it better. I had the privilege of working with Barb for many years as a Zookeeper. Her big smile, positive attitude and boundless energy was the highlight of my days with her. The loving care she gave to so many gorillas has put her at a special place in heaven. Dear Barb, you will be missed here on earth, but those in heaven have the honor of your presence. Love, Debby

Lee Parrish - Mar 27, 2024

I was very sad to hear of Barb's passing, my neighbor and friend for over a decade. She set an unattainable bar for what a neighbor should be. In all of the years I've known her, there is not one time, not one memory, of seeing her without a huge smile on her face. My love and prayers for the entire Jones family.

Dave Liggett - Mar 27, 2024

I consider Barb to be one of my zoo Moms. I say that I learned how to raise my 2 kids by raising 8 gorillas, but it was Barb that taught me how to raise gorillas. When teaching me about baby gorillas, she also taught me about life -- often in the form of a story involving a hilarious mishap that happened to her. Thank you, Barb, for showing me how to be strong when life seems unfair. Whenever I need a smile I'll think of you. You're the smartest and the bestest. I love you, zoo Mom.

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