Family’s pride at life of Sheffield mum and mayoress

Dr. Peter Jones, Lord Mayor pictured with Kathleen Jones, Lady Mayoress, and Rev Mark Williams'Christian Aid Week 1984
Dr. Peter Jones, Lord Mayor pictured with Kathleen Jones, Lady Mayoress, and Rev Mark Williams'Christian Aid Week 1984
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A FORMER Lady Mayoress who served as a Sheffield magistrate for more than three decades has died aged 80.

Kathleen was also appointed a magistrate in 1966, dispensing justice in Sheffield and rising through the ranks to become chair of the bench in 1993.

Her daughter Ruth Marlow paid tribute to her mother, saying she was ‘absolutely committed to doing the best for other people’.

“She was committed to her medicine, her community and to justice,” said Ruth.

“I thought she was an inspirational mother and an inspirational woman. She instilled in us a huge desire to achieve and do well.

“She was very well-known and a lot of people will remember her.”

Kathleen was born in Halifax and went on to read medicine at Cambridge. She met Peter while training at King’s College Hospital, London. They married in 1956, and came to Sheffield a year later.

Peter worked as a GP at Manor Top and Birley Moor Health Centre, and the couple lived on Prospect Road, Totley Rise, for around 30 years before moving to nearby Grove Road.

Meanwhile, Kathleen taught biology at Abbeydale Grange Girls’ School, then spent 16 years as a medical officer, responsible for schools in South East Sheffield.

Peter was also Labour councillor for Norfolk Park for more than 25 years, and fluent Russian speaker Kathleen regularly entertained delegations from Donetsk - Sheffield’s twin town in the Ukraine.

She was awarded an honorary doctorate in law from Sheffield University in 1994.

Ruth said her mother was an active churchgoer and volunteered for charities including Relate and Amnesty International.

“She was also an avid diarist, a talented lace-maker and an accomplished guitarist,” Ruth said.

“She was a gifted, talented and very driven woman. She was seen as very demure and elegant, she was very good-looking.”

Peter passed away aged 60 in 1990, and Kathleen retired in 2000 before moving to Suffolk to live near her family.

She moved into a residential home three years ago and died at home after contracting an infection.

“We were all with her when she died,” Ruth said. “Her mental determination kept her going, but physically she was frail.”

Kathleen leaves five children - Rachel, 54, Stephen, 52, Ruth, 50, and twins Simon and Richard, 49 - as well as 10 grandchildren.

A requiem mass celebrating her life will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Brantham, Suffolk, at 11am on April 19, followed by cremation.

By Richard Blackledge