John Robert Jones was the younger son of Wesley and Hester (Turpin) Jones, born August 11, 1943, in Stuart, NE. During John’s early years the Jones’ moved to Philadelphia, PA where Wesley was in the US Army Signal Corp during World War II. After the war they moved to Newport, NE where John started elementary school. The family’s next home was in Bassett, NE, where John graduated from Rock County High School in 1961. As a young boy, John loved to play Bowler Marbles; in fact, marbles adorned his mantel his entire life!
He developed a love and respect for eagles, which started when he and his dad observed them on the Niobrara River and later, at Lake McConaughy. Watching the eagles soar, then dive into the water to catch their prey, mesmerized John. For the entirety of his life he was an avid memorabilia collector of our national bird.
While attending Rock County High School, John participated in Mixed Chorus, Plays including both the junior and senior Class Plays for which he received Best Actor Awards, Square Dance Club, Rock County Club, Football, Basketball, Track, Student Council, Science Club and was his Annual’s Sr. Class Editor.
After working briefly in Omaha and California, he returned to Bassett, where his first daughter Collete was born. Later, having relocated to Alliance, daughters Serena and Tammy enlarged his family.
John’s work-ethic began to develop when, as a youngster, he not only delivered morning papers, but the evening editions as well. This served him well; John’s career in sales began in the insurance business, and later at the Gambles Store and for Eagle Communications in Alliance. He worked 33 years for the KCOW Radio Station, making contact with nearly every business owner in the Alliance and Hemingford areas.
On February 14th, 1986, he married Candis L. Stumf Kampbell, welcoming Candis’ children Mitch and Mandee Kampbell into his life. Mitch and Jill Kampbell, and Mandee Kampbell and Amanda Richards and their families all live in Omaha, where retirees John and Candis were in the process of moving, just prior to his latest health crisis which interrupted completion of their move into their new Omaha home.
Over the years, Candis and John especially enjoyed raising their ‘furkids’… dogs Buffee, Rozzee and Duke, who have all crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Falkee remains with Candis at their Omaha home.
Throughout his life at different times, John enjoyed golf, bowling, City League Basketball, Coed Volleyball, Coed Softball, dancing, card playing, in a Men’s Group and also in a Couple’s Group, and motorcycle riding.
John was a naturalist; his Spiritual Connection was most developed when in nature. Camping, whether at Fort Robinson, Chadron State Park or at the cabin near Newport, topped his list of favorite things to do. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting, and driving trips down West Ash and East Ash near Crawford with his father-in-law, Louis Stumf.
As a member of the Eagles Club, John spent many Saturday evenings calling Bingo. He was a lifetime member of the NRA. He also served his community as an EMT and a member of the Alliance Volunteer Fire Department.
During the summer and fall seasons, John drove KCOW’s Little Red Truck in parades throughout the Panhandle. Not only did he enjoy the driving but also the music and contact with the communities.
Beginning in 2001, John experienced serious health issues, compounded with additional challenges in 2014 and 2016. Despite his declining health John continued to be positive! He chose to be optimistic, making new friends and, with his cheerful and grateful attitude, adding happiness to the lives of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, receptionists, therapists, housekeeping and food service personnel with which he came into contact.
John’s legacy of positive perseverance, patience, kindness and love will be carried on by Candis, his wife of over 30 years, and his children Colette (Darrell Johnson), Serena (Eric Bremer), Tammy (Rocky DuBray), Mitch (Jill Kampbell), Mandee Kampbell (Angela Richards) and their families: his grandchildren and great grandchildren, who are Jessica Johnson and Aiden, Paige Johnson and Jason Stuart; Jon and Daniel Marquez; Shaina Brass, Seth and Trevor DuBray; Amanda and Shawn Sullivan, Eli and Tenley Kampbell; brother Jim and his wife Faye, as well as many other family and friends.
Those wishing to honor John with memorials, please contact:
• American Heart Association, 3816 Payshpere Circle, Chicago, Illinois 60674, or at https://donatenow.heart.org/
• American Lung Association, National Direct Response Headquarters, 1200 Hosford Street, Suite 101, Hudson, WI 54016-9316, or at http://www.lung.org/
• American Eagle Association, PO Box 333, Pigeon Forge, TN 37868, or at https://www.eagles.org/donate.
A Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday, July 15, 2017, 3:00 PM, at Camp Norwesca’s Chapel, Chadron State Park, casual dress. If you would like, wearing either camouflage or eagle attire, would be a tribute to John.
Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com.