Douglas Lorne Jones
1919 - 1994
Lorne Jones taught music at all levels in Seventh-day Adventist schools and was known for his work with male choruses. While still a student at Atlantic Union College, he directed some of its music ensembles during the 1941-1942 school year, before serving in World War II for four years. He then taught in Michigan, California, and Washington, and became known as the conductor of Ministers’ Choruses in the Southern California and Upper Columbia conferences.
Lorne was born in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, on October 12, 1919, the son of George Eric and Myrtle Evelyn Patten Jones. His father, an educator, became president of Atlantic Union College in 1936, after serving as dean of men at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, for the previous seven years. It was during The Great Depression and at a time when AUC’s appearance and reputation were at a low ebb. In the next twelve years he provided visionary leadership, presiding over an expansion in facilities, faculty, and programs that led to its accreditation in 1945 and the beginning of the modern era for the college.
Lorne, an accomplished marimba player and versatile instrumentalist, attended both colleges where he was active in their music programs, participated in their ensembles and led the choir as well as the band and orchestra as a student at AUC for a year before serving in World War II in the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1946 as a Chaplain’s Assistant in the medical corps. During his time in the service, he directed a chorus of service men that sang at Protestant churches near the stateside bases where he served.
While on a furlough in 1943 he met Elaine Stonier Gay, a talented pianist and marimba player, on the AUC campus. A native of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, she had been born on February 23, 1924 and was the daughter of Marble Champion and Elizabeth Ellen Stonier Gay. They married on August 25, 1946, and would have three children, Diane, Donald, and Marble. After completing a B.A. in music at AUC in 1947, Lorne taught for a year at AUC, conducting the choir and men's glee club and teaching conducting and fundamentals of music classes. He also started graduate study in church music at Boston University.
In 1948, the Joneses became music teachers at Cedar Lake Academy, now Great Lakes Academy, in Michigan, where he chaired the department and she taught piano, positions they held until 1953. During those years he pursued graduate study in music education at Michigan State University.
He served as principal of Battle Creek Academy for two years and then accepted an invitation in 1955 to serve as band and choir supervisor for elementary and junior academy schools in the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, a position he held for the next 22 years. Jones completed an M.A. in music at MSU in 1956. While in California, he directed choirs and bands in academies in that conference and in 1959 began directing, with Elaine serving as accompanist, The Ministers’ Chorus, an ensemble that had been formed in 1956.
In 1977, Jones became music teacher at the Clara Rogers Elementary School in College Place, Washington,where he worked until his retirement in 1986. While at CRES, he also taught elementary music methods classes at Walla Walla College, now University, and conducted the Upper Columbia Conference Ministers’ Male Chorus.
The Joneses were living in College Place, Washington, when he died on March 15, 1994, at age 74. Elaine died nine years later in College Place on August 11, 2003, at age 79.
Sources: Scott/Goulden Family Tree, Donald Lorne Jones, Facts; Social Security Death Index (D.L.Jones) Ancestry.com;The Sligonian, WMC school paper, December 19, 1939, 3, and May 8, 1936, 3; Myron F. Wehtje, And There Was Light, A History of South Lancaster Academy, Lancaster Junior College, and Atlantic Union College, Volume One, 1882-198, South Lancaster, Massachusetts, The Atlantic Press, 1982, 235-240. A new library, completed in 1970, was named for him, Whetje, 247, 248; The Sligonian, April 4, 1936, 1, and May 8, 1936, 1; .1942 Minuteman yearbook, Atlantic Union College, music section; .Record liner for The Ministers Chorus of the Southern California Conference, Chapel Records, 1966; Gay-Naegely Family Tree, Elaine Stonier Gay, Facts, Ancestry.com; Find a Grave Memorial for Elaine Stonier Jones, Ancestry.com; 1948 Minuteman, yearbook, Atlantic Union College, music section; Biographical resume for Lorne Jones, on file in the Walla Walla Music department;“Ministers’ Chorus Plans March 5 Appearance,” Pacific union Recorder, March 3, 1975, 5;Dan Shultz, personal knowledge, I served as WWC Music department chair when Lorne taught there; Social Security Death indices for both D.L. Jones and Elaine Jones, Ancestry.com.