Kenneth Roy Jones

Kenneth Roy Jones

Monticello, Piatt County, Illinois, USA
Death 17 Sep 1975 (aged 66)
Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, USA
Burial Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, USA
Plot Mausoleum-AA-Row 3-FAITH
Memorial ID 31925448 · View Source
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Kenneth Roy Jones was born May 24, 1909 in Monticello, Piatt County, Illinois. He was the son of Roy H. Jones (1875-1972) and Nellie F. (Miner) Jones (1877-1946). Kenneth's grandparents and great-grandparents were pioneer settlers of Piatt County during the early 1850's. He was the sixth of eight children born in the family. 1909 was the year that Henry Ford introduced his Model T. and Perry and Henson discovered the North Pole. Life was good in Monticello. His father, Roy, had expanded his business interests and was a successful businessman by the time Kenneth was born. The family was becoming financially prosperous. His sister Lucille was told that Ken was her little baby to take care of. She used to delight in dressing him up and "putting him in dresses". She adored him. By 1913, the eighth child, Bobby, was born and Ken had a new best friend. The family was very close and light hearted. Birthdays were celebrated with great traditions. Ken described a game that his mother, Nellie, used to play in which she would hide birthday cash under one of the dinner plates around the table.
In 1923 Ken was a freshman at Monticello High School. He was from an athletic family with a father that encouraged all sports. Ken was to excel in track and field as a high jumper and throwing the javelin. He was the left end on the varsity football team and always in the company of his good friend Noel Pike. He also played the violin and was in the school band and orchestra. Ken was the junior class president and was involved in school plays and the yearbook. He graduated in 1927 and was accepted at The University of Illinois at nearby Champaign-Urbana. He was a student of ceramic engineering and
became a fraternity member and was a member of the track team. In October of 1929, his junior year, the bottom would drop out of the economy and he became responsible for the financial continuation of his college career. Roy lost all of his business holdings when the stock market crashed. His business manager absconded with the family fortune. Roy summoned the family and gave them the news. Although they suffered the loss, the Joneses continued to stick together and take care of each other.

Ken moved to Chicago after completing his bachelors degree at The University of Illinois and attended Northwestern University where he did post-graduate studies in ceramic engineering. He worked for Shell Oil Company and loved the big city life. These were the years of gangsters, the beginning of "The New Deal", the labor movement, Gershwin musicals, and television. The 1930's ended with Ken moving to Danville, Illinois where he had secured a job with Western Brick Company as a ceramic engineer. He would meet a girl at a party at Danville Country Club. Kathryn Jean Baum Morrison was a widow who had a nine year old son, Jack P. Morrison. He fell in love with them both. Ken and Kathryn were married on August 29, 1940.

The young family made their home on Winter Ave. in Danville. Ken became active in the community. They joined Danville Country Club and The Elks Lodge. Their social circle was large and they loved to entertain friends and dance to Big Band Music. The Jones family readily accepted Kathryn and the Baums were delighted with Ken. On December 7, 1941 they were listening to a football game on the radio. President Roosevelt interrupted the game to announce that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Even though Ken was color blind and over the age to serve, he felt that he must join the fight. War was declared against Japan and The Second World War was official. Ken was not one to miss this kind of fight! He attended officer training at Ft. Schuyler, Bronx, New York and graduated as a Lieutenant Junior Grade on June 23, 1943. Both Kathryn and Jack were able to join him in all of his temporary posts stateside. In Jacksonville Beach, they lived off base near the beach and Kathryn wrote many letters about their life. Eventually he was transferred to San Diego and finally to The Marshall Islands and his final orders...destination, Kwajalein. The Battle of Kwajalein occurred in January, 1944. Ken arrived with Com Air Cen Pac (which became Com Forward Area Cen Pac) in late March of that year. He had a chance to visit some friends, The Lyman Watts, in Honolulu prior to his assignment. The Navy had the job of holding the island and supplying the Pacific Fleet when in the area. Ken was in charge of supplies.

On May 8, 1944, some of the Fleet arrived...among them the Belleau Wood. His brother, Robert Dale Jones was a Lieutenant on the ship. They had not seen each other for 18 months (almost to the day) at Bob and Dottie's wedding. Ken was stationed at Kwajalein through late June of 1945. The war ended in August. During his time overseas he adopted Jack (April 30, 1944), his daughter, Mary Kathryn, was born (October 14, 1944). While Kathryn was pregnant Jack affectionately called the unborn baby "The Kid" and his beloved mother's health began to fail. Mary Kathryn was named for his Grandmother Miner and Kathryn's Grandmother Gibbs. He returned to home to his loving family and some joyous and some difficult days ahead.

On October 11, 1946, Nellie Florence Jones died. In 1947, Mary Kathryn was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Despite the terrible weight of these burdens, Ken was able to maintain his composure and his amazing positive outlook on life. He left Western Brick Company and opened a John Deere dealership with his friend, Matt Barkman. On July 11, 1949, Mary Kathryn died and with her some of Ken's boundless energy. Kathryn's physician, Dr. Ray Buchar, said that it was imperative that Ken and Kathryn attempt to have another baby. Kathryn's depression was very deep. She drove her yellow 1949 Plymouth convertible for hours at a time around the area and could hardly concentrate on the business that they had started at The Parisian in Danville which sold baby clothes. Jack had been charged with many grown up tasks for a young man. His high school days at Danville High School were filled with worry. His friend Jerry Van Dyke was a source of relief for his fears. When Mary Kay died, Jack was asked to dispose of her toys and dolls. He could not do it and drove to Deland, Illinois to ask his Aunt Helen Trenchard to store the favorite items for him. He was crushed. In February, 1950 they were told that they were going to have another child. Robert Kenneth Jones (Bobby) was born on November 17, 1950.

Life has a way of beginning anew. Ken was involved again in his business and Kathryn at being a new mother. Jack fell in love and married Mary Cartland. They moved to the family ranch in Limon, Colorado. Ken and Kathryn became grandparents on January 13, 1952 when John Phillip Jones was born. He would be followed by Mary Kathryn, Kenneth Cartland, Peter and Chester. Ken would soon be the sole proprietor of Barkman-Jones Implement and change it's name to Jones Implement Company.

Ken was an avid golfer and was a very popular man. He would light up a room, a party or other gathering with his happy disposition. No matter where the family traveled, he always found a friend or an old acquaintance. A celebration would always follow. He loved to have a cocktail and to play music on his record player to which his guests could dance. Women (both friends and strangers alike) would line up to dance with him and watch him float across the floor at a nightclub, a ballroom or in our basement rec room. During the 1950's and 1960's Ken, Kathryn and Bob spent every winter in Florida (first in Fort Lauderdale and then at Palm Hill Ocean Villas in Hillsboro Beach). His in-laws, Chet and Nora Baum had a home at Palm Hill and Ken rented a villa on the ocean. Jones Implement was managed by Hubert Carico while they were gone and the business was in good hands. Ken delighted in playing shuffleboard with Chet, playing golf and getting together with old friends from his youth and from The Navy who lived nearby. His sister Lucille and her husband John lived in Ft. Meyers Beach on the other coast and they always visited back and forth. Kathryn and Ken were successful financially and were able to take cruises and have wonderful vacations. He was a member of Danville Elks, Danville Country Club, Anchor Masonic Lodge, Danville Scottish Rite, Danville Moose Lodge and was active with University of Illinois Alumni Association. He was a big fan of The Fighting Illini and went to all of the football games. They always had a big tailgate party prior to kickoff. Ken was a second father to all of Bob's friends. He and Kathryn made all of the boys feel like they were a part of the family. In 1975, Ken died after a brief illness. The night before he died he and Kathryn and Bob and his wife Carol were dancing and celebrating at Danville Elks. He told Bob that he had lived more in just ten years of his life than most men did in 80. He had a happy and fulfilled life. The day that he died he was sitting in his car leaving to play golf with his buddies at the country club. He took off his glasses and drifted off. Kathryn and Carol found him a short time
later. He was unable to meet the family that grew up during the rest of the century...but they all have a part of his buoyant energy and charm. Bob and Carol had two beautiful daughters, Kristy and Courtney. Bob would remarry in 1995 to Bonita Matthies and Ken would have a step-grandson, Steven. Jack died in 1978. His children would be the parents of 11 children...(Heather and Leslie, David and Jason, Peter and Adam, Brett, Michael and Alex, and Erin and Matthew). Courtney married Jon Hill and has two children, Jack and Sofia. Kristy married Matt Perry and has two children, Preston and Landon. Steven married Mary Jane Swoboda. They have two children, Olivia and Ava.

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  • Created by: Robert Jones
  • Added: 3 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 31925448
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Kenneth Roy Jones (24 May 1909–17 Sep 1975), Find A Grave Memorial no. 31925448, citing Spring Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Robert Jones (contributor 46993278) .