Arlene Jonas

Arlene Jonas0001

Arlene Talbott Jonas was born April 17, 1930 in Omak, Washington to Mildred and Curtis Talbott. She graduated from Omak High School, and earned both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Home Economics from the University of Idaho. Arlene married Robert James Jonas on June 9, 1950 in Omak, Washington. Together they raised three varied and loving sons, Larry, Steve and Mark Jonas.


Arlene called two places home. One was the Palouse where the family spent the winters.  Arlene taught at the University of Idaho in the Home Economics, Dietetics and Nutrition department, and Bob taught in the Biology department at Washington State University. The other home was Yellowstone National Park, where Bob worked as a park service naturalist/interpreter.  For thirty summers, the whole family enjoyed outdoor adventures and explored the Park and surrounding area. Always game for an adventure, Arlene worked as a fire lookout in Eastern Montana for several summers, with her family living in a cabin at the base of the lookout while Bob did wildlife research in the area. 


Arlene was famous for her sourdough pancakes that she cooked for family and friends, either in her home or in kitchens across the country. The colorful quilts she created are works of art that her family and friends will enjoy for many years. She was strong, thoughtful, and forward thinking – the best role model for all who knew her. Most of all, her greatest concern was for the special people around her. 


Arlene gave her time to the First Presbyterian Church of Moscow for many years and also volunteered for the Latah County Historical Society. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Jonas, and her two sons, Steve and Larry Jonas. She is survived by her son Mark Jonas, daughter-in-law Julie Jonas, grandsons Spencer and Tucker Jonas, daughter-in- law JoAnn Jonas, sister Lela Ames, sister-in-law Joan Jonas, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.


A memorial service followed by a reception will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Moscow at 405 S. Van Buren Street, on Tuesday, January 30 at 2pm.


In lieu of flowers, consider donating to local organizations that support people facing the  challenges of aging. Organizations in the Palouse that help in tangible ways:  Friendly Neighbors:, Pullman Community Council on Aging: (both providing meals for seniors); Friends of Hospice:  Alternate to donating, take a minute to volunteer for an organization that serves seniors or lend a helping hand to a neighbor!

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