Joan “Jone” Doris Willson Mader, 93, formerly of Scotland, passed away Thursday, August 31, 2023, at the Bradford Ecumenical Home, Bradford.
She was born in Philadelphia on November 29, 1929, the daughter of the late Judge Joseph Putnam Willson and Leonora (Sloan) Willson of Smethport.
Jone spent the first few years of her life in the care of her grandparents, The Rev. William J. Willson and his wife Wilhelmine Putnam Willson in Oakfield, N.Y. while her father finished law school in Philadelphia and her mother taught school in the same city.
In 1933, the family moved to Smethport, where Jone enjoyed attending school and spending time with friends.
World War II brought many changes in Jone’s life, with her father in the Navy in Africa and her mother holding down the home fort. While in high school, she was a member of the chorus and participated in those high school sports then available to girls, including cheerleading, and worked for at least one summer at the Smethport Diner.
Jone graduated from Smethport High School in June 1947 and attended Clarion State Teacher’s College, where she met the love of her life, Wayne “Bonner” Keller Mader, of Ridgway, who preceded her in death on September 9, 2017. They were married on December 29, 1950.
While at Clarion, Jone was involved in many collegiate activities such as women’s intramural basketball, cheerleading, choir, Pan-Hellenic Council, and she was a member of the Lambda Chi Delta sorority. Both she and Bonner graduated in 1951, Jone with a degree in Elementary Education. The couple then returned to Smethport, where Jone was an elementary school teacher in East Smethport and Rew. The couple then moved to Fort Myers, FL, where she and Bonner taught for one year before moving to Scotland in 1959. Jone taught third grade at Scotland Elementary School in Scotland for many years, retiring in 1990.
Jone and Bonner were known to friends and family as the “travelers,” frequently visiting their beloved children, grandchildren, and family. Jone was an enthusiastic supporter of the Washington Commanders and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jone and Bonner spent part of many winters in Bradenton, FL, watching the Pirates’ spring training games. They also greatly enjoyed spending summers at the Willson family cottages at Canandaigua Lake, NY, boating at Raystown Lake, and attending Hagerstown (MD) Suns’ minor league baseball games.
Jone is survived by her children, Melissa Anna Mader Schmitzer (Frank A. Myers) of Gibsonia, and Robert “Pete” Franklin Willson Mader (Julie) of Smethport. She is also survived by four beloved granddaughters: Kelsey Jean (Sam) Kleiner, Emma Willson Mader, Renee Brooke Schmitzer (Chris “CJ” Kagle, Jr.) and Marie Nicole Schmitzer, as well as her sister, Deborah Willson Babcox, and sister-in-law, Louise Dahlquist Mader, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
There will be no visitation. A memorial celebration of Jone’s life will be held later at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the activities fund at Bradford Ecumenical Home, 100 St. Francis Dr., Bradford, PA 16701 or to the Hamlin Memorial Library, 123 South Mechanic St., Smethport, PA 16749. In lieu of contributions, please attend a minor or professional baseball game and raise a toast to Jone in the beverage of your choice.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.hollenbeckcahill.com