John B Jones

April 14, 1919March 20, 2013

John was born April 15, 1919, in Forney, Texas to John B. Jones Sr. and Minnie Mae (Edwards) Jones. He was raised as a child in Forney and Plano, Texas. He died March 20, 2013 in Newton, Iowa.

He attended Wesley Junior College in Greenville, Texas, from 1937 to 1938. He then attended Oklahoma A & M in Stillwater and graduated in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He married Othel Lee Hale on Aug. 28, 1941 in Plano, Texas. It was a double wedding with his brother George and his wife, before a Justice of the Peace. Othel is now deceased, having passed away on Oct. 25, 2006, at the age of 84. John was raised in the Methodist Church. He renewed his faith in the Lord Jesus in the latter years of his life.

After college, he worked with the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Bartlesville, OK. He enlisted in the United States Navy as an officer and retired as a Lt. JG. He is a World War II veteran. He will be laid to rest today appropriately with full military honors next to his wife at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Greeley, Colorado.

He returned after the war to the Bureau of Mines and worked at Anvil Points in Western Colorado as chemical engineer with the experimental project of oil shale processing. In 1954, he moved to Denver and established Cameron and Jones Engineering. He furthered his engineering career in Brazil, working with Petrobrass, developing their oil shale industry. He spoke fluent Portuguese as a result. Subsequently, in 1960, he started his own company called DEI (Development Engineering, Inc.), which involved the invention of new technology to convert limestone to quick lime. In the early 1970’s, John invented a new technology that created oil directly from oil shale rock. As a natural progression, a company called Paraho was created in Grand Junction, Colorado, that proved the viability of the Paraho oil shale retorting process. John secured 17 various oil companies to help fund the project to determine the economic feasibility of using shale oil. The Dept. of Defense tested the shale oil in jet fuel, gasoline, and diesel. The outcome was a success. Ultimately, John formed his last company called Jones and Associates, which focused on improving the limestone technology and used it in sugar beet processing. This is what brought him to the Greeley area. He held over 25 patents in his various industrial fields. He did not retire until age 87.

John was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering, American Rifle Association, and Christian Broadcasting Network. He enjoyed the hobbies of carpentry and gardening. His rose bushes were always a source of pleasure and satisfaction to John. He was an avid storyteller. He enjoyed entertaining people and hosting parties. His keen sense of humor and positive attitude seemed to charm his many audiences.

Survivors include his daughter, Patricia Ann Brown and husband Philip of Deer Trail, Colorado; and 2 sons Donald Burnett Jones and wife Eilene of Newton, Iowa, and Kenneth Alan Jones and wife Cynthia of Raleigh, NC; a sister-in –law, Edna Hale of Westminster, Texas also survives; there are 5 grandchildren; Chad Jones of Denver, CO., Noelle Jones of Newton, IA, Timothy Halfacre of Westbrook, ME, and Brian Halfacre of Raleigh, NC, and 12 great-grandchildren, Caleb, Abigail, Ethan, Maximus, Madeline, Sheridan, Aurora, Carter, Garrett, Ethan, Elara, and Lucas. John was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Othel Lee Jones, John B. Jones, Sr., his father, Minnie Mae, his mother, and George Jones, his brother.

Please visit to sign online guestbook.


  • Funeral Service Tuesday, March 26, 2013

John B Jones

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Glenn Vawter

April 2, 2013

So sorry to hear of John's passing. I knew him briefly during the oil shale boom of the 1970's. He was a well respected pioneer in the oil shale business. Some of the technical contributions he made are still in use. When the family is ready to discuss it, I would be interested in seeing if some of John's oil shale documents might be donated to the Tell Ertl oil shale collection at the Colorado School of Mines.