John L. Jones, 92, died Sunday, May 27, 2018 at his home in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. John was born August 5, 1925, in Hannibal, Wisconsin to William C. and Alta (Lemke) Jones. He attended several schools around Wisconsin, and graduated from Wauzeka High School.
John served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946. During WWII, he served as a tank driver in central Europe and the occupation of Germany.
John married Viola Ready on November 22, 1949, and they had six children.
He worked as a logger and lumber inspector for the same company — Hutchison Log & Lumber Company, purchased by Erickson Hardwoods, then by Weyerhaeuser Company — until he retired. In retirement he worked for Nelson Lumber, which had purchased Weyerhaeuser.
John was known for riding his bicycle, in later years picking up aluminum cans for recycling. He played guitar, violin, banjo, about anything with strings; also piano, accordion, and harmonica. He was a wood carver, making wooden chains, parts for musical instruments, gun stocks, and fixing things made of wood. He enjoyed flea markets and auction sales with Viola. He liked reading, old cars, and watching trains go by. He had a soft spot for turtles, toads, and frogs, stopping to help turtles cross the road. In winter he chopped wood, went ice skating, played board and card games or put puzzles together with his children. In spring and summer he helped make hay, hiked the hills, and collected watercress at Viola’s family farm, “Plum Creek”. He played softball when another team member was needed in neighborhood games. He was a gentle and quiet man, soft-spoken, and liked a peaceful and simple life. He was riding his bicycle days before his death, and said though he may be old, when he jumped on his bike he “felt like a kid again”.
John is survived by his six children: David Jones of Yuma, Arizona; Paul Jones of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; Lawrence Jones of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; Jennifer (Don) McCumber of Madison, Wisconsin; Sally (David) Rose of Frost, West Virginia; and Crystal Jones of Madison, Wisconsin; grandchildren: Samuel Rose, David Rose, Joseph Rose and Caroline Rose; step grandchildren: Tony (Heather) McCumber, Leia (Stephen) Crowe, and Ami (Reese) McKenna; step great-grandchild, Autumn McCumber; and a sister-in-law, Dolores Oswald.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Viola; his parents; and his sisters: Ruth Pinkert, Beulah Mae Hazen, and Marjorie (Peggy) Chunat.
A memorial service led by Pastor Andy Doll will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 11:00 am, at the Bible Baptist Church, 1110 North Marquette Road, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin with visitation from 10-11 am.
Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin is helping the family with arrangements.