Mary Ann Biedenharn Jones
Published 9:39 am Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Mary Ann Biedenharn Jones was born on December 29, 1942, the oldest of seven children of Eric and Betty Lassiter Biedenharn, and died on May 24, 2023. Ever devoted to her family, Ann was also a talented artist whose paintings will continue to bring joy to future generations. She was always positive, looking for and finding the good in everyone. She could talk and connect with anyone she met. In addition to her considerable artistic gifts, she was a teacher who loved both to discuss the inspiration for her artwork and to help others find their artistic inspiration.
Raised on Blue Lake Plantation, a farming and cattle operation in Bovina, Ann loved nature and animals, and was always drawn back to rural settings. She graduated from H.V. Cooper High School in Vicksburg in 1961 before attending the Mississippi State College for Women and graduating from the University of Mississippi, where she focused on the visual arts. She married Jimmy Jones in 1967, and they welcomed two children, Liz and Jim. She was a devoted caregiver to both Jimmy and her mother in recent years.
Ann wore many professional hats over the course of her life. This included work with Warren County school students under a Mississippi Arts Commission grant, service as Executive Director of Vicksburg Main Street, development of the Vicksburg Factory Outlets as a partner with GJSB Development Company, and entrepreneurship with her husband, including Mississippi River Tours, The Red Duck, and J. Richard’s Deli.
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However, her true calling was always painting. She set goals for her artistic development that led to the production of a tremendous portfolio, showings in galleries around the country, and numerous commissions. She worked primarily in oils, with a focus on wildlife, flowers, family portraits and pet portraits. About her art, she said, “When I began loving art as a child, I had no idea where it would lead me. I have been blessed with encouragement, education, a stable family life and dogged determination…Each painting that an artist does is an invention and an exercise in problem-solving. Therefore it is enriching to the mind and soul.” Ann illustrated several children’s books and produced a retrospective of her work, Ann Biedenharn Jones: Life and Art. A lifelong member of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Bovina, she supported the church throughout her life, and enriched it with her art, which hangs in almost every room.
She is predeceased by her father and mother, Eric and Betty Lassiter Biedenharn. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Jimmy; her children, Liz Curtis and Jim Jones; her grandchildren, Ben Porter, Olivia Curtis, and Tripp Curtis; her siblings, Letty Biedenharn, Betsy Selby, Eric Biedenharn, Jr. (Ellen), Max Biedenharn, Easy Biedenharn (Mary John), and Eva Panelo (Sergio); and many cousins, great-nieces and nephews, and other family.
Visitation will be held at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday, May 31 from 4 to 5:45 p.m. A Burial Eucharist will be held at 6 p.m., and also livestreamed on the church’s Facebook page, with a reception sponsored by ECW to follow. A private committal in the St. Alban’s graveyard will be held at a later date. Glenwood Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Pallbearers will be Ben Porter, Tripp Curtis, Richard Selby, David Selby, Walker Biedenharn, Ford Biedenharn, Lawson Selby, Mason Selby, and Chris Libbey.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 5930 Warriors Trail, Vicksburg, MS 39180 or online at stalbansbovina.org.