The extraordinary life of Thomas Jefferson Jones Jr. came to a peaceful end Thursday, April 4, 2019 at his home, surrounded by members of his loving family and friends.
He celebrated his 86th birthday Sunday with Kaye, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held Monday, April 8th at 2:00 in the afternoon at the First United Methodist Church of Duncan, reception following.
A true Duncanite, Tommy was born, raised, and lived his entire life in his hometown. His path to success started in the Duncan Public School System where he lettered in football, basketball, and track, and graduated in 1951.
He then chose the University of Oklahoma where he studied geology. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and graduated in 1957.
He and Kaye Hampton married in 1956 and moved back to Duncan, where he joined The Jones Oil Co. that his father, Thomas J. Jones Sr., had founded. He was named president in 1965.
Tommy was clearly a giver in the world, always seeking ways to better his beloved Duncan and elevate the quality of life for its residents. His civic involvement included Oklahoma City University Board of Trustees 1984-1998; Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Foundation Board of Directors 1999-2009; University of Oklahoma Alumni Association Board of Directors 1971-1979; Jaycees 1957-1964, “Distinguished Service Award” 1965, “Outstanding Citizen Award” 1974.
Not to be overlooked was his role as a performer in all presentations of Civic Capers sponsored by the Civic Auditorium Foundation as a funding path to building what has become the Simmons Center.
A supporter of many charitable causes, he was especially loyal to the United Way of Stephens County. He was campaign chairman in 1974, a board member, president in 1982, and a dependable and generous donor.
Tommy knew the value of economic development and was a fixture in efforts to attract new industry and quality jobs. His professional accomplishments included Kay-Jay Energy Company, LLC, Founder and President 1997-present; First National Bank of Duncan Board of Directors 1966-1973; Security National Bank & Trust Co. of Duncan Board of Directors 1975-1998; AmQuest Bank Board of Directors 1976-1998; AmQuest Financial Corp. Board of Directors 1982-1998; American National Bank of Duncan, Founder and Board of Directors 1983-1997, Chairman 1986-1997; Cotton Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees 1984-present, President 1993-1996; Western Farmers Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees 2009-present.
Of all his many accomplishments, none was more important to him than the development, growth, and advancements to the Duncan Regional Hospital, working alongside Dr. Robert James Weedn and Jack Geurkink, his lifelong friends, and others to purchase and merge three privately-owned small facilities in 1977 into an incredible medical complex that is now a hub of medical services in southwest Oklahoma. Tommy was instrumental in raising $10 million for the project, served as a member of the Duncan Health Authority from 1976-1987 and then was named to the hospital’s board of directors from 1987-1990.
Tommy’s most unique spotlight centered on his membership in the Duncan Rotary Club. He attended his first meeting in March 1961 and never missed another, traveling around the world on occasion to keep intact his unheard of 58 years of perfect attendance. He served on the club’s board of directors, was president in 1973-74 and has been a Paul Harris Fellow for decades.
That’s only a glimpse at his life of commitment, of leadership, of dedication, of passion, and of benevolence to organizations and causes in which he believed and supported. Recently, the Duncan Chamber of Commerce presented him its Lifetime Achievement Award for community service. He was president of the chamber in 1975, its Man of the Year in 1979, and played a significant role in planning and construction of the L.B. and Ola Simmons Community Activities Center.
The grandson of a Methodist minister, his faith in God was long and deep, as was his involvement in and support of the First United Methodist Church of Duncan. He was chairman and member of the finance committee, chairman and member of the board of trustees, member of the building committee, and drive chairman for the new building. He also served on the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation board of trustees from 2003-present. He loved his Sunday School class, led by close friend John Ray Green.
He and Kaye loved to travel, spending quality time at their Colorado vacation home and taking yearly trips with their couples bridge club: the Bealls, Bonneys, and McCaslands.
Tommy is survived by Kaye, his adoring wife and partner of 62 years; sister Jo Ann and her husband Bill Morrison; children Janalyn and her husband Mark Geurkink, Judy and her husband Bob Neville, and Jeff and his wife Tina Jones. He adored his grandchildren Jordan and her husband Trey Williams, Jack and his wife Kayla Geurkink, Robert Neville, Jillian Neville, Jefferson Jones, Jerrad and his wife Haley Jones, Jenifer Jones, step-grandchildren Brandon Stacy, Colton Gibson, and Madison Price, and great-grandchildren Audrey and Grace Geurkink, Walker and Jack Williams and Hazell Jones.
He was preceded in death by his mother Eleanor Jones, infant sister Eleanor Carolyn Jones, father Thomas Jones, and loving step-mother Martha Jones.
Tommy’s family is forever grateful for the special care given by Esther Villagrana, Aniceto (Mora) Gonzalez, Leticia Estrada, Claudia Hernandez, Magdalena Alcantar, and Maira Moreno.
Our family’s wish is to fund a new dialysis unit at Duncan Regional Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable donation to Duncan Regional Hospital Health Foundation, PO Box 2000, Duncan, OK 73534 in memory of Thomas J. Jones Jr.
Tommy bled crimson and cream and we will miss him most on gamedays, but we know he will have the greatest seat of all cheering on his Oklahoma Sooners.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Whitt Funeral Home.