Connie Kirby Jonas, well-known writer and civic leader from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, died peacefully on December 24th, 2010.

Connie Kirby Jonas, well-known writer and civic leader from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, died peacefully on December 24th, 2010.

Connie was born in 1926 to Cecil and June Kirby in Carthage, Missouri and later moved to Kirksville, Missouri. She graduated from Kirksville High School in 1944, attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers’ College until 1946 before transferring to the University of Missouri in Columbia where she received a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1948.

Connie married Harry S Jonas, Jr. in 1949. The couple moved to St. Louis when Harry entered Washington University Medical School.  In 1956, Harry and Connie moved to Independence, Missouri when Harry began his practice in obstetrics and gynecology.

Connie organized the first chapter of the League of Women Voters in Independence and served as its first president. She was active in the development of the new city charter for Independence, served as a member of the City Charter Commission, and worked tirelessly to help achieve the successful passage of the new charter, which later became a model for Jackson County. She was also active in electoral drives to improve streets, support schools, parks and other civic activities. She served for a number of years as a volunteer guide at the Harry S. Truman Library. She was a member of the Junior Service League of Independence, and most recently as a Sustaining Member.

During Dr. Jonas’ term as Dean of the UMKC School of Medicine, Connie was extremely active in medical student affairs, sponsoring fund-raising events, and student support activities.

In 1987 the Jonas’ moved to Chicago when Dr. Jonas accepted a position with the American Medical Association. Connie worked at Northwestern University Medical Center Hospital in the publications department, and was active there, promoting the Hospital and profiling staff and patients with her special writing talents.

In 2000 the Jonas’ returned home, and Connie took up a new role as grandmother to their six grandchildren. Being a devoted grandmother became a very special retirement occupation.

Connie and Harry enjoyed the opportunity to spend summer vacations with their children, grandchildren and family friends on Cape Cod.

Connie is survived by her husband of sixty-one years, Harry; sons Harry S. Jonas III (Beverly), William Reed Jonas (Maria) and daughter Sarah Elizabeth Dau (Mark), grandsons Harrison Jonas, Daniel Jonas, and Andrew Dau, granddaughters Kristen Jonas, Rebecca Jonas, and Katie Dau.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Pleasant in Independence, Missouri on January 4, 2010 at 4 p.m., followed by a reception at Westminster Hall across from the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the League of Women Voters, Junior Service League of Independence, or Planned Parenthood of Missouri and Kansas.