Resident Spotlight: Dale and Peter Jones


Dale and Peter Jones at Kirby Pines

A Lifetime of Adventure

Imagine that you have traveled to 7 continents and in excess of 70 countries. Imagine a successful marriage, profession and the rearing of 3 children. Such are the experiences of Dale and Peter Jones. Their life together chronicles so many adventures and experiences it is difficult to condense. Here are only the highlights of their lives:

Dale (nee McBride) was born in Alexandria, Louisiana in 1944. Her high education studies began by attending Texas Women’s University in Denton, TX. Although TWU only accepted women students at that time, Dale was invited by the U.S. Marine Corps to join and “become a leader of men”. She was tempted to accept the offer! Returning home after 2 years, Dale enrolled in Louisiana Tech, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition. She then began a dietetic internship at Duke University. While there, fate stepped in and on a blind date, met the one to become her life partner, Peter Jones. Following a year of courtship, they were married in September, 1967.

Peter Jones was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand in 1940. Following high school, he began his studies in chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Following the awarding of both a B.S. and an M.S. in chemistry, Peter was awarded a Fulbright- Hays scholarship for graduate studies at Duke University, eventually earning a PhD in Biochemistry.

During Peter’s academic climb, Dale worked as a dietitian at Duke University. Following graduation, they moved to Tucson, Arizona where Peter had accepted a post-graduate fellowship at the U of Arizona College of Medicine. Dale worked as a clinical dietitian. 18 months later they traveled on a 3 week voyage to Wellington, New Zealand where Peter had accepted a position at his alma mater. While there, Dale gave birth to their first child, Stephen. An interesting story in itself, Dale gave birth in the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers. Fortunately, they accommodated private patients in a special section of the home.

In 1972, Dale and Peter returned to the U.S. and Memphis, TN. Peter had accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at UTCHS. At UT, he was actively involved in curriculum development for the College of Medicine and served for many years on the Admissions Committee. Peter became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 2006 and after 35 years at UT, retired as Professor of Molecular Science in 2007.

Dale and Peter became parents to 2 other children, Katherine and Phillip, after moving to Memphis. Dale’s career moved from being a full-time mother to being a pre-school teacher and eventually moving back into a clinical dietitian position until retirement. She was involved in church activities as well as the Cub and Girl Scouts. When the children became old enough to travel, frequent trips were made to New Zealand to visit grandparents and family members. However, following retirement, most of Dale and Peter’s travels occurred. How exotic are visits to countries like Mongolia, Tibet, Antarctica and a safari in Kenya? One of their favorite trips was celebrating their 45th anniversary, on the actual date of their anniversary, in an authentic village of Old Believers near Ulan-Ude in Siberia. Dale and Peter performed in a simulated Siberian ceremony acting as bride and groom and wearing authentic Costumes.

Dale and Peter Jones
45th Anniversary in Siberia

Peter has had an interest in Rugby (New Zealand’s National sport) since early childhood. Thus began an almost 70 year involvement in the sport, from player to becoming one of the top 5 referees in the U.S. He was recently inducted into the Memphis Rugby Hall of Fame. Dale and Peter now have 4 grandchildren, all of whom lived in Colorado at the time they began looking at retirement communities. They didn’t like the idea of cold winters and finding a Garden Home that met all of their needs, they moved into Kirby Pines in early 2019.

Since moving to Kirby, Dale and Peter have been involved in many activities. Peter says “yes” to almost anything asked to do. They enjoy the Book Baggers, Saturday Trivia, the Travelers Group and walking around the campus. Peter walks 4 to 5 miles daily, sometimes in the Oasis. Dale participates in water aerobics, Arthritis Sit & Stand, Needle Arts Group and Line Dancing.

Dale and Peter are members of Woodland Presbyterian Church where Peter serves as one of the trustees and Dale gives the Bible study in the monthly Women of the Church Circle.

Both Peter and Dale state that the proudest accomplishment for them is raising and educating 3 talented children, all of whom are gainfully employed in chosen professions and who are now raising and educating their own,. Peter adds, “I am very fortunate that I’ve been married for almost 53 years to the same wonderful lady”. Dale says, “I’m blessed that I am married to a delightful, steady, faithful, never boring man who led me to places I never would have gone and introduced me to an outside world I never dreamed was there.” To meet and engage in conversation with this wonderful couple is a joyful experience. Their willingness to participate and serve in various activities has made them a welcomed addition to Kirby Pines.

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident, Kirby Pines