Jewel Ainsworth, age 102, had many adventures


Jewel Ainsworth (1920-2022)

Jewel Marie Ainsworth of Roscoe met her goal of living to 100 and surpassed it by 2 years. She led a full life with many adventures. Jewel passed away on November 12, 2022 at the age of 102.

Jewel was born on Spirit Lake Indian Reservation on April 23, 1920 in Warwick, North Dakota to John Carlson, an immigrant from Finland, and Margaret Carlson, who taught her to dance as a little girl while her father played accordion. During World War II, before she was married, Jewel worked as a plane spotter in California, sitting in a small shack in the mountains and watching for enemy planes. 

In California, Jewel also worked at the ship yards and helped build warships.  She told reporter Chris Caraveo, "It taught me to take care of myself." In 1947, she had the luck of seeing Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose fly. Not many can say that, since it only flew once! In Arizona, Jewel traveled into the mountains and deserts to interview people for the US Census, many times on reservations.

Jewel married Lloyd “Red” E. Ainsworth, a WWII Navy veteran, on February 1, 1948 at Wee Kirk o' the Heather Chapel at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California. Together they had four children, twins Dennis and Frances, Duffey and Kay. They raised their children in North Park, IL and then retired to Sun City, AZ.  

During their retirement, Jewel and Red went on several cruises and spent the summers traveling America in their travel trailer. In Arizona, Jewel was a member of the Red Hats, Rock Hounds, Sun City Line Dance Club, and the Leilani’s (Hula Dance Club). Red died in 1996, so she remained an active single widow for more than 25 years.

Jewel was predeceased by her beloved husband, Red; her son, Dennis; and son-in-law, Grant. Jewel is survived by her children, Frances (Robert) Grille, Duffey (Deborah) Ainsworth, and Kay Keehn. 

Jewel will be laid to rest in Arizona next to her man, Lloyd E. Ainsworth, at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

Click, tap, or swipe on the photo below to view some images of Jewel's life.

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