After graduation from MHS, I took summer classes at Odessa College. In August, I started at North Texas State, in Denton. I went to school year round, until I finished.
In my junior year I met and married J. Mario de Leon. We both graduated in August of 1962. I earned a BA in Art, Fashion Illustration and /Clothing Design. Mario had a BS in Art and Biology.
We moved to Augusts GA., where Mario was accepted to graduate school at the Medical College of Ga. We were there three years, until he finished his MS in Medical Illustration and Visual Communications. Not being able to find a job in my field, I taught school. We both also worked at the Medical Library each night. In order to continue teaching I had to take education courses in summer school.
In July 1965, we moved to Durham, NC, where Mario worked at the Medical School at UNC in Chapel Hill, NC. I worked as a fashion coordinator for Belks Department store in Durham.
In June of 1967, we moved to Houston, where Mario worked at Baylor Medical Center in the Cardiology Department. He did illustrations and visuals for Dr. Debakey, and Dr. Denton Cooley. I was pregnant with our daughter, and she was born in Houston in October.
In July 1969, another opportunity came up in Durham. Mario became the head of the Visual Communications Dept. at the new Dental School at UNC in Chapel Hill. At that time I was a stay at home Mom. My son was born in September of 1971.
I did not return to work until 1973, when I took a job as a graphic artist for the Physics Dept. at UNC to replace a person on leave. The job started in August and ended in May. After that I did some substitute teaching. I then worked for Sieman Printing Company in Durham, as a graphic artist and later worked for the printing department at UNC.
In 1979, Mario left the Dental School to start our own business, The Leon Studios. Shortly afterward, I joined him. We did medical and visual communications for a lot of research companies in the Research Triangle Park here.
In August 1982, Mario and I separated after 21 years of marriage. We divorced in November 1983. In December 1984, Mario died suddenly from a brain aneurysm.
In 1983, I went to work for Burroughs Wellcome, a pharmaceutical company in the Research Triangle Park. Our department did all the illustrations, exhibits publications and visuals for the research scientist in the company. It was a great job that I loved. It was there I was introduced to computer graphics. Some of my Illustrations were published and some were used at the presentations when two of our scientists won Nobel prizes. I was very pleased. However in 1995, Glaxo, now Glaxo-Smith Kline, purchased BW. They were pushing anyone 50 and over out the door. So I took early retirement.
In 1990, I married James (Jim) Jones. (No, he did not give me any grape Kool-Aid). We had been friends as couples before we each divorced. Our two sons had been friends since they were two. We dated for six years before getting married. We waited until our boys finished high school.
Jim worked at IBM in the Research Triangle Park. He retired early in 1992, was out a year, and went back to work as a contractor. He retired permanently I
My parents moved here in 1995 and I was able to spend time and care for them. My Dad died in 2002, at the age of 92 and my Mom passed in 2003 at the age of 93. I was glad to get to know my parents better in my adult years.
In our combined family, we have four children. Jim has two sons, and I have my two children. Jim’s oldest son, Barton(44) is married, no children, and lives in Charlotte, NC. His wife, Heidi is a fourth grade teacher at a Charter School. My daughter, Leslie(41) is a Speech Pathologist with the public schools in Greensboro, NC. She is divorced, and has a daughter, Eryn(13) and a son Blake(8). She is a Hodgkin’s Cancer survivor and we feel very blessed to still have her with us. It was touch and go for a while. She is a very strong person.
Jim’s younger son, Heath(38} lives in Durham and works for a retired Neurologist in Chapel Hill. He is engaged to Stacey and she works in retail. They plan to marry next year.
My son, Khedron(37} lives in Durham also. He is a network engineer for a Medical Software company. He works from home via the computer and also travels all over the US. He is not married, but has come close a few times.
Our life is quiet. We belong to a Senior Group, which meets once a month. We each have a lunch bunch that we go to lunch with. I play bridge one to two times a month. We both read a lot. We also go the gym at IBM M-F mornings to keep things moving. I have two knee replacements, so I am part ‘bionic’. I still enjoy sewing and designing. I was able to design and make my daughter’s wedding dress, which was great fun. I also sew and design clothes for my granddaughter.
Most of out traveling is done in state, or up and down the east coast. I get back to Texas ever so often to visit my sister and nieces and nephews in the Metroplex area. I will not be attending the reunion. I’m sure it will be a great time. It has been fun hearing from everyone and I have enjoyed the e-mails and Bios. I have been able to locate several friends that I had lost track of through the years. I wish the best to all.