Richard W. Jones
May 3, 1934 - July 6,
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
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.
Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home in Pflugerville. Call (512)
251-4118 for more information.
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
(IFreeman - July 12,