Obituary of Donald R Jones
Donald Ray Jones of Salem, Illinois, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at the age of 82 on Thursday, March 30, 2023, with his wife of 58 years, Bevelyn (Gilliland) Jones, at his side.
Don was born in Murry, Missouri, on October 6, 1940, to James C. and Mary Opal (Hale) Jones. Don graduated Central High School in Kansas City, MO, and Central Missouri State University. He began working at Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company in Kansas City, MO, where he met his wife, Bevelyn, in 1961. The two married in 1964 and moved to Prairie Village, Kansas, where Don began a long and successful career in the fuel and energy sectors as a professional administrator and local small businessman. Don complemented his professional success with political involvement. He was elected to the City Commission of Liberal, KS, and he later became mayor of Liberal in 1978.
Although he enjoyed professional and political success, Don’s true passions were for his family, his church, and for serving others. Don and Beve raised three wonderful children – Kristin, Michael, and Lynda – and loved and doted upon their four grandchildren: Katherine, Emily, Maxwell, and John. An Eagle Scout himself, Don was incredibly proud that his son-in-law, Jack, as well as his grandson, Max, continued the tradition by becoming Eagle Scouts, too. Don was an active Christian, serving on various committees in his church. He was an active member of Salem’s Grace Methodist Church, and he enjoyed being part of the Holy Smokers’ fundraisers and taking part in natural disaster relief missions. An active member of Salem’s municipality, he was a member of the Salem Garden Club, on the board of South Central Transit, and a member of both the Elks and Lions Clubs.
Don will be remembered by friends and family members alike for his generous spirit, his welcoming smile, and his sense of adventure and fun. Don’s immediate family was small and cherished, and he built an even wider family network through lovingly cultivated lifelong friendships. He enjoyed traveling and meeting new people. An avid, expert gardener, Don could almost always be found outside, enhancing the natural beauty of his home.
Don embodied the Christian values he held dear, which was easily recognized by those he welcomed into his home and those he served and helped, values passed down to his children and grandchildren. Don is survived by his wife, Bevelyn (Gilliland) Jones; his daughter, Kristin Leanne Jones, her husband Jack Jones, and their two children, Emily Leanne Jones and Maxwell James Jones; his son, Michael David Jones, and Michael’s wife, Lainie Pomerleau; his daughter Lynda Elizabeth (Jones) Bogdala, her husband, David Bogdala, and their daughter and son, Katherine Elizabeth Bogdala and John David Bogdala; his brother, Robert Jones of Derby, KS, as well as loved nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be 1-2:00pm Sunday, April 2nd, at Grace United Methodist Church, 116 East Schwartz Street, Salem, IL, followed immediately by the funeral service celebrating Don’s life, also at Grace United Methodist Church.
Don was a transplant recipient, and the family hopes that others will honor his memory by registering as organ donors or, even more importantly, discussing with their families their wishes to be organ donors. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don Jones’ name to Mid-America Transplant; Sleep in Heavenly Peace (care of Grace United Methodist Church); or the Salem Animal Shelter.
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