Donald Jones
Donald Jones
Donald Jones

Obituary of Donald Wayne Jones

Donald W. Jones joined his Lord and Savior on Monday, May 31, 2021 in O’Fallon, IL at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. He spent his final days surrounded by his loving family and left this world on a perfect day to go out to the farm, with a high of 75 degrees and sunshine. Don’s life was bound by an unshakable, unwavering faith in God, bestowed upon him by his parents, Lewis and Nell Jones. Lewis was a farmer and Nell, a homemaker and mother of nine, was one of the first women in the Methodist Episcopal Church to be granted an exhorter’s license to speak in the church in 1930, a mere four months after Don’s birth. Between the services when he grew bored of the sermon and gave the man in front of him an occasional SNAP of the suspenders, he absorbed the word of God. He served in the church often throughout the years as a Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, and Usher. In his family, he was also the de facto prayer leader at every gathering. Growing up with his seven brothers and one older sister, he was present for much mischief, but was, conveniently, never the guilty party. Rest assured, this includes the time when someone in the family closed bees up in flowers to listen to them buzz. He was just watching. The love of his life was his wife of over 67 years, Joan. Whilst many mistook their shared birthday of May 18th for their anniversary, he married the love of his life, Joan on October 17, 1953. Much to the displeasure of his mother-in-law, Essie Heflin, the pair eloped. All who knew them as a couple knew them to be the richest of families in love and in faith. He was a veteran of the US Army, bravely serving in the Korean Conflict where he dismantled land mines and was one of only two in his platoon to return, alongside William "Bill" Quayle. Upon his return, he gave his first-born son the only other survivor's first name, William (Randy) After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree (Greenville College) and Master’s degree in Education (University of Illinois), he continued studying, falling only a dissertation short of a Doctorate of Education (Illinois State University). He spent his life dedicated to cultivating the minds of every generation after him. Starting first as a high school history teacher and boys’ basketball coach, he continued on to become a principal, then superintendent. He expected greatness, but only because he knew what those he taught were capable of. He is remembered by the many students, teachers, staff members, and employees of the school districts across Illinois whom he served in St. Elmo, Kinmundy, Minonk, and Trenton, IL. He retired as superintendent of Wesclin School District in 1991, leaving him open for more time with his grandchildren. He loved spending time working with his hands. He spent many years painting houses, gardening, and even laying wood floors for the love of the work, leaving a mark on both the ground and the hearts of those who met him. Not even the catfish at his farm could resist his charms, coming up to the surface for feeding time the moment they heard his truck. He was a lover of basketball and baseball. Though the Fighting Illini and St. Louis Cardinals in particular were his favorite teams, we in the family know his favorite player was his grandson, Kyle. He loved crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, sharing the comic pages of the newspaper, listening to Rush on KMOX, peanut brittle, and ginger snaps. Despite all of these, he loved his God and his family more. He was preceded in death by: Parents Lewis and Nell (Walker) Jones. Sister and brother-in-law Helen (Jack) Cox. Brothers and sisters-in-law Harold (Phyllis) Jones, Kate Jones, Thelma Jones, Rev. Dwight (JoAnn) Jones and Bill (Mary Lee) Jones. Nephew Ron Jones. Niece Mary (Jones) Bushue. Surviving are: Brothers Dean Jones, Cecil Jones, Richard (Mary Alice) Jones, and John (Lenora) Jones. Sister-in-law, Janice Jones. Wife of 67 years, Joan (Robinson) Jones. Children Randy (Jean) and Brad (Chris) Jones and Lisa Guilliams. Grandchildren, Kyle (Tiffany) Jones, Kayley (Matt) Wilhelm, Sydney and Kirsten Guilliams. Great-grandchildren Abram, Nora, and Rowan Wilhelm and Isabella Jones. Funeral Services for Donald W. Jones will be held at 12:30 pm on Friday, June 4, 2021 at Crouse Funeral Home in Salem with his daughter, Lisa Guilliams officiating. Visitation will be from 11:00 am until 12:30 pm. Burial will be in Sandy Branch Cemetery in Alma with military rites by the Salem American Legion. Memorials can be made to the Sandy Branch Cemetery, T.W.I.G.S. or the First Baptist Church of O’Fallon and can be received at the Crouse Funeral Home. To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Donald Wayne Jones, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.
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