Richard W. Jones


April 21, 1941 (Seattle)  –  May 14, 2024 (Gig Harbor)


image of Richard Jones

Richard Jones

Richard Jones won the respect of coworkers and the people around him, the affection of children; he appreciated beauty and found the best in others.  He left the world “a bit better.” (to paraphrase Emerson).

He was a Swede, born in Swedish Hospital, raised in Scandinavian Ballard and a graduate of Ballard High. From his earliest days, Richard worked at the locally famous family business, Jones Bros. Meats.  Hard work and dedication were signature qualities for the whole clan.

He soloed at age 16 and earned his private pilot’s license on his 17th birthday.  He was a natural, starting with the likes of the Aeronca Chief out of Lake Union; later the Piper Super Cub on floats and Cessna 206 amphibian.  Hiring with Alaska Airlines, he flew the Lockheed Hercules, Lockheed Super Constellation, Boeing 720, Boeing 727, and retired on the McDonald Douglas MD-80.  He would remark that he couldn’t believe they actually paid him to fly.

Richard dearly loved his family.  Richard’s family and Marlene’s family – the Jones and Amundsen families – were close.  One day, David Amundsen got a new car and invited his sister Marlene to join him to show it off at the meat market.  Dave, Marlene, a friend and Richard ate seafood at Crawfords.  David told Richard that he was going on a date the next day and suggested that Richard invite someone for a double date.  While Richard protested that it was too late to do that, Dave suggested that Marlene would be willing to go.  So the double date was on!

Nothing much came of this until Richard bought a new car that Christmas.  He called the Amundsen house (answered by Marlene’s father), and Dave got up to talk to Richard, only to be informed by his dad, “He didn’t ask for you; he wants to talk to your sister.”  Next day, the new couple drove to Snoqualmie Falls and the courtship was on.  They married when they were both 21 on May 18th, 1962, at First Covenant Church in Seattle.

He and Marlene welcomed their children (Shannon, Hayley, Rick and BJ) – and bonus children – as they came along.  Spouses and grandchildren came into the family.  They were treated to a wonderful example of Christian faith, love and experiences.  The Hawaiian Islands were clearly the favorite vacation destination.  In fact, Richard once got called into the principal’s office to explain why, in one year, the children missed school three times for week-long vacations.  His response was the these are valuable educational opportunities they shouldn’t miss and, besides, they were maintaining good grades.

The family has always enjoyed the water and boating.  In younger days, Hood Canal was family summer central at Miami Beach Resort near Seabeck and the family cabin on Hood Point. In his youth, Richard was an accomplished slalom water-skier.

Their first house was in Meadowdale near Edmonds; then they lived near Richmond Beach, then in Newport Shores.  They moved to Gig Harbor where Richard lived out his retirement years.

Richard was unflappable at the yoke in the cockpit.  He had an ability to meet challenges with thoughtfulness and resolve.

A man of deep faith, he was known for offering heartfelt – and sometimes lengthy – prayers at the table in thanks for all God’s provisions and for the people dear to him.  He knew he was safe in the arms of his Lord.

His life celebration will be Saturday, June 8, 2024, at OurChurch, 5000 67th Avenue West in University Place.  The service begins at 10:00 am.

One Response to “Richard W. Jones”

  • Charlene and Lenny Saunders says:

    Dear Marlene and family,
    You are in our thoughts and prayers. We pray God will comfort you with his peace that passes all understanding while you mourn your loss and celebrate Dick’s gain.
    Charlene and Lenny Saunders

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