Happy Birthday Mom

This picture of mom was taken on her 21st birthday by my grandfather, Paul Jones. The flowers were gifts from fans who’d recently discovered her – and her glorious singing voice – in the motion picture “Oklahoma.” Mom would soon begin shooting her second film for Rodgers & Hammerstein, “Carousel,” and in a few years, she’d win the Academy Award for a dramatic turn in “Elmer Gantry.” The public knows her from these films, and for her work in television, but to us, her family, Shirley Jones has always simply been mom. 

In one week, on Easter Sunday, this small-town girl from Western Pennsylvania, who grew up to become a movie star but who never acted like one, will celebrate her 90th birthday. In a journey full of dramatic highs and lows, mom has always been an optimist and a lover of life. Simple things mean the most to her: family, friends, nature, animals, laughter, sing-a-longs at the piano, a dry martini. Not necessarily in that order. 

On March 31st, 2024, her kids and grandkids will gather to share all of these things and more with mom, grateful to have her with us, and blessed by her good health. Happy Birthday Mom. Thanks for always offering us ground in an uncertain world, and for inspiring so many with your talent and heart. I love you.

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