Charles Jones Jr.
1925 - 2013
Charles Jones Jr., 87, passed away March 5, 2013 at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix after a short illness.
He was born on June 5, 1925 in Dana, Ind., the only child of Charles Jones Sr. and Lois Todd. He grew up in Illinois and Indiana and spent part of his childhood on his father’s farm. Because his father worked on the railroad, he was able to get free passage on the train, and enjoyed accompanying his mother on the train for shopping trips to Chicago and St. Louis. In his teens he expressed his love for music, and would even go to Chicago on his own for the opera.
Mr. Jones attended Bismark High School in Illinois, graduating in 1943. After high school he worked for four years for the railroad before starting college at Indiana Central College (now called the University of Indianapolis). He attended ICC from 1947-1951, majoring and minoring in music after deciding a math major was not his cup of tea. One of his musical endeavors was being part of the official college quartet in his junior and senior years.
It was while at ICC that he met the love of his life, Eloise Marie Bilby. Though they broke up before graduation, it became a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Mr. Jones moved away to Arizona in 1952, while Eloise was attending nursing school in Indianapolis. She unexpectedly received a Valentine’s love note that said, “You got me, have I got you?” As a consequence, they began courting again after Eloise took a job at a mission hospital in Espanola, N.M. After eight months of courtship, they were married on April 22, 1956 in Indiana.
Shortly after arriving in Arizona, Charles started working for Phoenix Title and Trust, which later became Transamerica Title. He retired after 37 years, having achieved the titles of chief title officer and vice president of the Arizona Division.
In his spare time, he continued to pursue his love of music by serving as the choir director, organist and bell choir director at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Phoenix, and Mount Cross Lutheran Church in Payson.
Mr. Jones loved to serve his community and held offices in Payson Choral Society, Tonto Community Concert Association and several HOAs. These organizations all valued his dedication and expertise.
After they were married, Charles and Eloise enjoyed exploring their new home state of Arizona. Their love of the mountains led them to purchase a trailer in Christopher Creek and then a cabin in Thompson Draw. He enjoyed feeding the birds and watching the wildlife.
Mr. Jones became a reluctant world traveler, visiting England, Austria, Denmark, Spain and even Swaziland while visiting his eldest daughter. All this from a man who never wanted to leave town.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Eloise; his children, Tamara, Lori and Brian; his son-in-law, Phil; his daughter-in-law, Shannon; his granddaughter, India; and all of the friends of his children who wished he was their father, too.
A celebration of Mr. Jones’ life will be held at Mount Cross Lutheran Church at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 23.
Donations in his memory may be made to Mount Cross Lutheran Church Building Fund for a new organ, 601 E. Highway 260, Payson, AZ 85541.