~~Jone Willis Vratny was born on January 29, 1929 in Epworth Hospital, South Bend, Indiana. She was the youngest of three children born to Leone and Edward Willis. Jone’s siblings were Ted and Nancy.
From early in her life, Jone steadfastly pursued her interests in education, music, art, and literature. She played the piano through much of her life and had the honor of meeting Sergei Rachmaninov when she was in her 20s. She would later support her grandsons’ interests in music by funding music lessons and attending their High School concerts.
Jone attended Indiana University while working as a secretary for the University’s history department. She met Fredrick Vratny who was a graduate student pursuing his doctoral in Physical Chemistry. They were soon married and welcomed their first daughter Melina in 1955. While Fredrick worked as a college professor at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana they welcomed their second daughter Karena in 1958. The family moved to Berkley Heights, New Jersey where Fredrick worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories as a Research Scientist. They were later divorced.
Jone earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1971, which was followed by a Master of Arts degree from Kean College in 1975. She was Certified by the State of New Jersey Department of Education in teaching the physically and mentally challenged and worked as a special education teacher for the Rockaway School District from 1975 until her retirement. Following this Jone continued her lifelong learning experience earning several more accreditations including a Morris County, New Jersey Public Notary in 1984 and a Certified Paralegal in 1991.
Jone preserved her independence to the end. One of Jone’s favorite pastimes was to fill-up-the-tank of her 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and drive to the County library or to join her yoga class in Madison.
Jone touched many lives as an educator, neighbor, parent, and grandparent. She is survived by her daughters Melina Vratny of New York, and Karena Walker of New Jersey. She is also survived by her grandson’s Theodore and Matthew Walker of New Jersey.
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