William Frederick (Fred) Jones
Sept. 30, 1930 – Feb. 21, 2020
William Frederick (Fred) Jones, 89, passed away peacefully on Feb. 21, 2020 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.
Fred was born in Tupelo, Mississippi (just like Elvis, only in 1930, he always said) and grew up learning a strong work ethic on his grandpa’s farm. He attended Grenada, Mississippi, schools, and participated in weightlifting and wrestling at Grenada High School.
Fred was the only person to earn a perfect score on the math portion of the entrance exam to Ole Miss. They made him retake the test, and he earned a perfect score again. After hitchhiking from Oxford home on weekends to do laundry, Fred graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1952 with a bachelor degree in physics. He worked for Hughes Aircraft Company in California during the 1950s. He was selected for the 1962 Stanford-Sloan Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, earned an MBA there, and made many life-long friends. After starting a family, he pursued doctoral studies in business, and also taught classes at Pepperdine University in southern California. While raising his three daughters, Fred worked primarily in California’s Silicon Valley in the management, sales/marketing, and engineering of the rapidly developing computer technology. He owned several small airplanes during this time and enjoyed flying for both business and pleasure.
On his 65th birthday (so he would remember the date) Fred married Cherry Lyon. The couple moved to Minden, Nevada, to a house overlooking Carson Valley. Although officially retired, Fred worked with the Economic Development Department for Douglas County for several years. Then when really retired, he and Cherry traveled to many parts of the country in a series of RVs and trailers that they owned. After 12 years in Nevada, doctors suggested that Cherry live at a lower elevation, so they moved to Ocala, Florida, near where two of his three daughters lived at the time.
For several years Fred and Cherry traveled to Homer, Alaska, for the summers, as Cherry’s son and daughter and their families both lived there. They came to love Homer, and after some health scares while living in Florida, moved there in 2016.
Fred is survived by and will be dearly missed by his wife, Cherry Lyon Jones; daughters Christine Jones, Amanda Krome, and Ariel Gibson; granddaughters Ellen, Leighla, Aelish and Cora; his LTC(R) Michael Taylor and wife Laura; nieces, Beverly and Kibby Taylor; and Dave Lyon and Becky Lyon Van Sickle.
Fred was preceded in death by his sisters, Bernice Jones Taylor and Catherine Jones Parks; and stepbrother Army Air Force Lt. John B. White.
Fred will be universally remembered for his quick wit. He could always rephrase a comment into a joke or, better still, a pun. Think of him next time you hear a “good one.”
A gathering to celebrate Fred’s life will be held in March. If you wish to memorialize Fred please donate to Hospice of Homer or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.