PFLUGERVILLE, Texas

Richard W. Jones Jr. III

May 3, 1934 - July 6, 2008

Richard W. Jones Jr. III died Sunday, July 6, 2008, peacefully while in the loving care of his family and his faithful, beloved dog, Ace, after a courageous battle with cancer. On May 3, 1934, he was born in Waukesha to Richard and Martha Jones. He graduated from Waukesha High School in 1952. 

He became a commissioned officer and was designated as a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Aircraft Observer Training program. After his graduation from aviation cadet training at James Connally Air Force Base in Waco, Texas, on Jan. 27, 1956, he was married the next day to Carolyn Williams, his devoted wife for the next 33 years, until her passing in 1989. He was promoted to captain in 1961. In 1962, he graduated from Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama and Carolyn was given a certificate of appreciation from the base commander for her support and encouragement of her husband during the rigorous hours required of her husband throughout the program.

Throughout his career, he received several service awards and commendations.

He was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal for his exemplary work as the deputy flight commander. The citation that accompanied the award of the the Meritorious Service Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster, stated that:

“Lt. Col. Richard W. Jones Jr. III, distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as Flying, Nuclear, Weapons and Explosives Safety Officer, 374th Tactical Airlift Wing, Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan, Republic of China, from 16 September 1972 to 17 September 1973.  During this period, Colonel Jones displayed complete mastery of his specialty and a selfless dedication to duty. His outstanding contributions brought about a very significant decrease in the major categories of reportable accidents. His intuitive analysis of statistical data and operating conditions provided the commander the basis for timely decisions, and his imaginative programs provided the means of implementing those decisions. Through exceptional initiative and devotion to duty, Colonel Jones has saved the United States Air Force incalculable dollars and manhours by eliminating accident potentials. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Jones reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”

In 1961, he completed his training as a C-124 pilot at Tinker Air Force Base in California. In 1967, he was stationed in Dover, Del., promoted to major and assigned to Warner Robins Air Force Base in Macon, Ga.

Col. Jones graduated from the University of the State of New York in 1975 with an associate degree in arts. He graduated with scholastic honors from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor of science degree in 1976 and received a master of arts degree from Central Michigan University in 1977.

Col. Jones’s 25-year military career included missions in Vietnam, assignments in Taiwan and U.S. bases. He retired from the Air Force in 1979 and the family moved back to Houston to be closer to Carolyn’s family. In 1983, Richard began a second career abroad as the Chief Airfield Operations & Airport Operations Center within the Directorate Operations & Security Affairs, King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He and Carolyn enjoyed living abroad and traveling the world. He retired in 1998 and moved to Austin, Texas, to be with his children and grandchildren.

He leaves a legacy to his children and friends of hard work, honesty and integrity. Throughout his life, he was able to see and do things that most people only dream about. His selfless devotion to his family and his allegiance to his country are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him and the U.S. Air Force. He was an avid golfer and played golf around the world. He golfed in Dubai, Thailand, Spain, Scotland, Africa, all over the United States and traveled every year to play at Myrtle Beach, S.C. Richard enjoyed playing bridge, square dancing, traveling the world, the Austin Forum Group, and was a member of the Balcones Country Club and a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers.

He was the beloved husband of the late Carolyn Jones. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Mildred Gainer.

Col. Jones is survived by his sister, Marion Boyd, and her husband, Stanley “Buzz” Boyd of Wisconsin. He was the loving father to his son, Jeffrey Richard Jones of Cedar Park, Texas; his daughter, Jennifer Carol Cooper of Cedar Park; son-in-law, Alan Cooper of Cedar Park; and his grandchildren, Daniel Maxwell Jones, Emma Leigh Jones and Jackson Alan Cooper. 

The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to all relatives and friends for kindness and sympathy shown to them during their time of bereavement.

A funeral service and burial, with military honors, will be conducted at 1 p.m. today, July 12, at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home in Pflugerville, Texas. A viewing was held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 11. The family will receive friends at their home in Cedar Park and celebrate his life. Condolences may be offered to the family at an online memorial. Visit: www.mem.com.

Arrangements by Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home in Pflugerville. Call (512) 251-4118 for more information.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air ...

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, or ever eagle flew -

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

- John Gillespie Magee Jr.

(IFreeman - July 12, 2008)