James Hugh (Jim) Jones


James Hugh (Jim) Jones, 80, died Nov. 6, 2004, after a long illness.

He was the son, born Nov. 10, 1923 in Jones' Chapel, near Brownwood, Texas, of Zuma Lenore Gordon and James Hugh Jones, Sr.

He grew up during the Depression and became a skilled craftsman, designer and civil engineer. He was a nationally known specialist on water rights and Indian treaties. He was also an expert marksman and avid outdoorsman, and an authority on firearms.

Mr. Jones moved to Arizona in December 1941, assigned to Williams Air Force Base by the War Department, where he was in charge of the drafting section for the engineering shop. He later enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served three years in Africa during World War II. He made Arizona his home following the war.

He met Ina May Wood, and they were married in March 1947.

Mr. Jones worked 29 years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in drafting, roads, mapping and special projects. He retired from the BIA in 1974, and from then until 1980 worked with Phoenix Western Engineers out of the Phoenix office, where he primarily was responsible for utility planning and subdivisions. He also served as a consultant with the BIA for studies on Indian reservations in the western United States, as well as a consultant on the Central Arizona Project on the Salt River Indian Reservation.

Mr. Jones served five years on the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission before becoming the first Republican since Territorial days to be elected as supervisor of northern Gila County. He served two terms in that office.

He was chairman of the Gila County Republican Party, chairman of the Airport Board, chairman of the Northern Gila County Sanitary District, and a member of numerous other national, state and county committees. He was instrumental in the planning and developing of Green Valley Park in Payson. He was a lifetime endowment member of the National Rifle Association. He was a founding member of the Tonto Rim Sports Club and actively worked in the planning and building of a gun range for northern Gila County. That range is now The Jim Jones Shooting Range.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ina May Jones, in March of 1980.

He is survived by daughters, Patricia (Fred) Henderson, Theresa (Truman Parker) Jones and Laurin Jones-Lawless (Ken Lawless); nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

He is fondly remembered by the stepchildren of a former marriage, Freddie Miranda (Laura) and children, Lupe Miranda, Pan Ritchie (Chad) and children.

Donations can be made to the Rim Country Rotary Foundation scholarship fund in memory of Jim Jones.

Services will be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10 at the Payson High School Auditorium, followed by interment at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park, and a potluck (place to be announced).

Arrangements handled by Messinger Payson Funeral Home.

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