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Mary Grace Jones '85 February 12, 2024 2:42 PM updated: February 12, 2024 2:52 PM

Mary Grace (Marks) Jones 

April 9, 1960 - June 14, 2023 

Mary Grace Jones (Gracie) passed away on June 14, 2023 surrounded by loved ones at her side. She was 63. Gracie was proceeded in death by her parents Walter and Lillian Marks. She will be remembered forever by her loving husband of 24 years, Richard, sister Denise Waterbury (Mike), brother Walter Marks Jr. (Mary), sister Susan Marks, and her step-mother Lynn Marks. Gracie will also be missed greatly by her two nieces – Tricia Beal (Andrew and Alex) and Deanna Knaizer (Brendon), her nephew Scott Waterbury, and her cousin Carin Marks along with other extended family members and loving friends, and her most beloved dog – Sammie.

Gracie was born in Chicago in 1960. Around age 7, her family moved to Midland, Michigan. In 1980, she moved again with family to Houston, where she resided for the past 43 years. Gracie had a passion for architecture, and earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in 1985 from Texas A&M University. During her career as an architect, she worked on many of the medical and commercial buildings in the city, and she proudly met and maintained all necessary professional architect licensing requirements for the State of Texas up through the past year. Gracie had a passion for Historic Renovation and the impact of buildings on the environment.

Gracie married Richard in 1998 – at the age of 37, in St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church (Houston). She was a selfless, wonderful wife – generous beyond measure in love and spirit. She fully embraced the opportunity to travel over the years, and often with family. Those trips were always filled with adventure, laughter, and wonderful memories. She prided herself being a National Park junkie – having probably visited at least half of the national parks, and many of them multiple times. A few of her favorites were Yellowstone / Grand Tetons, Canyonlands, Lake Clark in Alaska, and Big Bend in Texas. Yellowstone was a place particularly dear to Gracie's heart and where she spent her honeymoon in 1998. These trips provided an opportunity to escape and recharge, and to pursue an interest in photography, but which also provided her with some of the best opportunities to browse gift shops – which was another favorite pastime particularly when traveling with one of her sister-in-law's.

Gracie's love of nature was also displayed in her love of gardening, at one point winning first place for three consecutive years in a vegetable growing contest sponsored by one of the local nurseries. In recent years, she found much joy in making and gifting beautiful beaded rosaries. Gracie also loved fashion and makeup, but her Mary Kay business was substantially more about the long-lasting friendships that she made and cherished than about making money.

All that knew Gracie, remember her for her crazy, witty sense of humor – and nobody ever knew what she was going to say or do. She could make anyone laugh. But Gracie will be best remembered for her love of God, her love of family, and her love of friends. Jesus and our Blessed Mother were Forever on her lips. For over 20 years, she faithfully shared her many spiritual gifts with her church and community by serving initially with her "Companions on the Journey" retreat team sisters, and then with her ACTS team sisters. For the last 15 years, 11 of her closest friends have remained together and enjoyed sharing an annual spiritual retreat for themselves.

Gracie impacted many lives, and in ways much more than we will ever know. Strangers were often drawn to her and she to them, leading her to minister and pray for them. Gracie always had something to say about everything, and she could point you to a scripture that related to that exact conversation. Although most of these people were never seen again, they continued to be remembered over months and years through written entries she made into a book of prayer intentions.

Gracie will be missed greatly by her husband, her family and so many dear friends. All will miss her spontaneous reaction to life itself.

Visitation for Gracie Jones will be held Tuesday night 6 - 8pm at Dettling Funeral Home (14094 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX, 77079). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday 10:30am at St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church, (13350 Ashford Point Dr, Houston, TX, 77082). Burial will follow at 12 noon at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery (12800 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX, 77077).

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that Gracie's friends and loved ones consider a memorial donation to the St. Justin Martyr ACTS Ministry. Memorials can be mailed to St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church, 13350 Ashford Point Dr, Houston, TX 77082. Online donations can be made at For online donations, please select "Fund = Misc", and specify ACTS Ministry within the reference name boxes that follow. 


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