Doctor Ellen Lorene Purser Jones, 71, departed this life unexpectedly January 14, 2024, after a brief illness. She was born in San Jose, California on August 24, 1952. She lived a life full of adventure and thrilled at the beauty of nature. She felt deeply. She loved to serve others. Her patients knew her as a caring, compassionate, and skilled physician.
She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Dr. Michael C. Jones; her children, Jason and Katy Jones of Kaysville, UT, Melinda Desmond of St. George, UT, Lynette and Alan Gifford of Orem, UT, Katrina and Michael Johanson of Orem, UT, and Kevin and Natalie Jones of Pocatello, ID; 19 grandchildren; her sisters, Barbara Voreis of Kaysville, UT, Deborah Newell of Lakeside, MT, Elizabeth Hendricks of Georgetown, TX, and her brother, John Purser of Durango, CO; several nieces and nephews; her cat, Obidiah, and her comically talkative pet parrot, Arnold.
She was warmly welcomed on the other side by her parents, John and Katherine Purser; her sister, Margo Faccini; her brother, Marty Purser; Mike’s first wife, Peggy; and many others who have fond memories of time spent with her.
As a youth she played the flute in her high school band, swam competitively, and was an honor student. Always an avid adventurer and explorer, she took her motorcycle helmet and hitchhiked up and down California and across America and Canada. In just 3 years she graduated from Chico State College in California with a degree in Psychology and another in Social Services. After graduation she served emotionally challenged children for 7 years in Northern California.
Ellen was a very insightful, spiritual person who felt life-long direction from an inner voice. That voice helped her make decisions both big and small as she trekked--often alone or in small groups--with her backpack from California to Europe to Asia, eventually studying under Kirti Rinposhe for several months at what she felt was “home” in a retreat at a Buddhist monastery in Dharamsala, India. Following those promptings brought her joy and fulfillment. Some promptings were easy, but some were very difficult; she quit a 30+ year smoking habit cold turkey. Her commitment and dedication to spiritual guidance is an inspiration to all who knew her.
While in India that inner voice called her back to the US to attend chiropractic school in Portland, OR. In 1990, after just 3 years into a 4 year program, she graduated co-salutatorian from Western States Chiropractic College. She established a practice in Bozeman, Montana where she helped patients heal and improve their health until her retirement in Sept. 2021. After Mike’s wife Peggy died, that inner voice prompted her to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, marry Mike Jones, and invite Mike & Peggy’s 5 kids aged 10-19 into her life. Twenty-five years later she served a mission with her husband for the Church of Jesus Christ to Patagonia in southern Chile, which she termed the most beautiful place she had seen in the world. She continued to study Spanish until the day she died. The last 6 months of her life she served as a temple worker in the Helena temple; she said it fed her soul.
She loved gardening and flowers. She found healing in the ocean and loved swimming in the waves. She was passionate about photography and was very skilled at capturing and editing magnificent works of art. That art was often used to beautify their home and was shared with her posterity in personalized books and albums that documented favorite family memories. Her favorite photography subjects were wildlife, her grandchildren, and landscapes. She took many trips to Yellowstone, Colorado, southern Utah, and the west coast in pursuit of those amazing shots.
The last few years she patiently accepted the physical limitations of her diminishing sight and the back pain that required her to sleep in a chair. Always on the lookout for the lonely and downtrodden, she spent her days in selfless service to others. She will be sorely missed, until we meet again.
Ellen’s funeral will be held 11am on Saturday, January 20th, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 2915 Coulter Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715. Join a gathering of her friends and family on Friday, January 19, 2024, from 6-8pm and Saturday from 10-10:45am at the same chapel. A gravestone in her honor will be placed in the Ephrata, WA cemetery this summer. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service in Bozeman.
Those who are unable to attend her funeral in person may join via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/97852976055?pwd=cmpGaHphUE5KZDJVQWxNZzM3UWNQZz09
Meeting Code: 978 5297 6055
Friends and family are adding their favorite pictures of Ellen to a shared photo album. Please join the celebration of Ellen’s life by adding pictures and comments with your memories of her at https://bit.ly/ellen-jones. Photos added by noon on Thursday may be included in her celebration of life video.