The Velinda Jonson Family Education Fellow at State Policy Network is named after a long-time friend of SPN who passed away in 2021.
Velinda Jonson cared deeply for people, her community, and our country. She had a calling and innate ability to help other people, and she did this throughout her life for her family, church, friends, neighbors and strangers.
Originally from Flint, MI, she completed the nursing program at the Hurley School of Nursing in 1961, becoming a registered nurse to care for others. She worked in pediatrics and public health during her service as an RN. Even though she stepped away from nursing to devote her time to supporting and raising her family, she always kept her nursing license current.
Velinda deeply loved her family, and as a military spouse, she cared for them through six relocations. Everywhere she went, she found the good things to focus on, and was the first to find a silver lining in any new location. She was instrumental in helping her son adjust to and thrive within changing K-12 educational environments in five different locales.
Velinda was an active member of the church choir in each place she lived, and with her, boredom was never an option. From church gatherings, time with immediate and extended family, or her involvement in the community, Velinda was always thinking of others and planning fun activities. Those that knew her miss her dearly, but her spirit of serving others, and her love for life and laughter continues to inspire all of those that knew her.