The eldest child of Bobbie and Wally Jones, Kris was born in Temple City, California but spent most of her growing-up years in Pasadena. After graduating from PHS, she attended school at UCSB, where she fell in love with Santa Barbara. She and fellow student Harlan DeGroodt married in 1966 and lived briefly in Arcadia and Orinda (where they had their daughter Galen) before returning to live in Santa Barbara, where Kris became a regular denizen of Butterfly Beach. Later on, Kris spent many years in Ashland, Oregon, where she was a valued member of the Chamber of Commerce staff and an active Garden Club participant. In her later years, Kris returned yet again to California where she spent the rest of her life in her beloved Carpinteria home.
Proof that “good things come in small packages,” Kris had a wonderful sense of humor and a beautiful smile. Like buried treasure, time was needed to fully discover her, and the rewards were great. A talented natural cook, she also had a gift for interior decoration and gardening; each one of her homes was lovely and welcoming and filled with flowers from the gardens where Kris spent some of her happiest hours. A visit to her home was always a feast for the senses. An inveterate walker both in Oregon and California, Kris was an “Energizer Bunny” who could outpace anyone as long as she could walk. In California, her favorite walks were on the beach and were frequently interrupted by discoveries of sea glass and shells, both of which she collected.
She died peacefully in her home as she’d wished, surrounded by wonderful caregivers and loving family, with a Christmas tree decorated by her grandson lighting her last hours. She is survived by her daughter, Galen, son-in-law, Chris Titchenell, and her adored grandson, Keir, of Bailey, Colorado; her sister, Melinda Jones, of Grover Beach; and her brother, Tim Jones, of Heber, Utah.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances in her honor may be made to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden or Alzheimer’s Disease Research.