Don Jones, aged 85, died at his home in Shelton, Washington on October 1, 2019. He was born December 31, 1933 in Ellington, Missouri to Zelpha Marie Brown and Robert Gentry Jones. He was the third of four siblings and the family enjoyed many happy times playing cards and games together, which continued into adulthood whenever they gathered, although, sometimes competitive sparks did fly. He moved with his family to Whatcom County, Washington when he was 11 years old, eventually settling on a farm near Sumas.
Don was a lifelong learner, teacher, and advocate for education. He graduated from Nooksack Valley High School in 1951, earned his BA from Western Washington College of Education in 1955, his MA from University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University in 1966, and his PhD in Genetics from Oregon State in 1972. He began his teaching career at Nooksack Valley Elementary in 1955 and then taught high school biology at Shelton and North Bend before moving to Centralia College. After retiring, he continued to tutor students and taught his last marine biology class when he was 75. He helped to establish Lummi Indian Community College and the Shelton branch of the Olympic College. For many years, he chaired the scholarship committee for the Shelton Kiwanis and took great joy in awarding scholarships to deserving students. Some of his proudest moments were when his former students came back and expressed how their education and his teaching had helped them achieve success. His support of education culminated in making his body available for scientific research and study.
Don was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on June 10, 1955. The principles of freemasonry were the cornerstones of how he lived his life--it is better to love than to hate and fear, it is our duty to cherish all mankind, to strive to be better tomorrow than we were yesterday, and to live with compassion and caring.
He married Sybil Jacobson on December 26, 1955 and they had a long and happy life together. They had two children, Ronald, who preceded him in death, and Sharon (Mark St. Clair); as well as three grandchildren he was very proud of, Colby Jones, Laura St Clair and Scott St. Clair.
Don was a longtime member of the Shelton Kiwanis, assisting in their many projects such as building the playground at the Shelton city park, building a play shed for the Headstart children, assisting with the Missoula children’s theater, awarding scholarships and, of course, fund raising. He also assisted Sybil and other local Master Gardeners with fence building and other activities at the Catalyst Garden, which provides fresh vegetables for the local food bank.
Don and Sybil were longtime members of the Olympia Friendship Force and traveled the globe learning about other countries and cultures and making lasting friendships. They also participated in many Elderhostels, traveling and studying in the U.S. and abroad.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at The Grant School on Community Club Road, Shelton, Washington.
In lieu of flowers, we suggest that donations be made to the Shelton Kiwanis Scholarship Fund and the Providence Sound Homecare and Hospice.