Daisy Marquis Jones was born in the late 1870’s to Jacob and Rose Marquis. One of five children, she spent her childhood in Pennsylvania where she developed her lifelong passion for investing.
In the early 1900’s she moved to Rochester and by the 1920’s she owned a home on Wilmer Street off Monroe Avenue.
During the 1940’s Daisy married J. Nelson Jones, owner of Bellview Farms Dairy in the town of Himrod located in Yates County. They ran the dairy farm together until his passing in the 1960’s. After many years on the farm she decided to move back to her home on Wilbur Ave. Daisy’s affection for her adopted hometown in Yates County inspired her to donate the farm house and surrounding property to the community’s fledgling volunteer fire department as well as support their efforts to purchase equipment.
To this day, The Foundation continues to make significant grants to improve the quality of life in Yates County.
As an independent and astute businesswoman, Daisy had gained the admiration and respect of local bankers and brokers for her shrewd investment skills. She was an understated and fiercely private woman who was committed to supporting her community through charitable donations to causes that promoted the health and well-being of all. Childless, she had intended to leave the bulk of her estate to her nephew, Leo Marquis Lyons but he had a better idea in mind. Leo persuaded her to leave her fortune as a charitable foundation instead, so together they established the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation three years before her death.
Leo, born in 1904, was the only child of Jacob and Phoebe Lyons. Like his Aunt Daisy, he was an astute businessman and wise investor. Although he never married, he loved children. He always said the Foundation was his baby, his child, and his legacy to the Rochester Community.
Known as the “heart” behind the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, he served as the chairman of the Board of Trustees from its inception in 1968 until his death in 1997, leaving the bulk of his estate to the Foundation as well.
The Foundation remains steadfast to Daisy and Leo’s dedication to strengthening our neighbors and our communities in the greater Rochester area and Yates County.