Thomas Owen Jones Jr.
June 24, 1935 – October 11, 2021
The early hours of October 11,2021 marked the passing of Dr. Thomas O. Jones Jr., a scholar, a gentleman, an adventurer, a good man not afraid to take an economic venture, and most importantly, to those that knew him a trusted friend. He and his wife Nancy Collins enjoyed traveling with friends to places like Turkey, Greece, Italy, Ireland, and Sweden.
Dr. Jones was the Distinguished Professor of Business of Carolina University, Winston-Salem, NC. Prior to coming to Carolina University, he was the dean of two schools of business and created the business program at Greensboro College. As the founder, former CEO, and chairman of BillPayers, Inc, a pioneer in electronic bill paying, Dr. Jones brought a tremendous amount of experience and expertise to the study of business and leadership.
Tom’s formal education included a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctor of Business Administration from George Washington University. In academia, he was actively involved in publishing articles and business reviews contributing to journals such as the Harvard Business Review and presenting his research findings at conferences around the United States.
Having grown up in Arlington, VA, his father was a minister at the Calvary Baptist Church. His high School rowing team won the Schoolboy National rowing championship in both his junior and senior years. Continuing his athletic endeavors for four years at the University of Pennsylvania, he was on both the football and rowing teams; the rowers winning the Grand Challenge Cup at the British Henley; the world championship in non-Olympic years. Tom won Silver Medals in the 1952 and 1956 (double scull) Olympics’. In service to his country, Dr. Jones was a Naval Aviator flying fighters from aircraft carriers as a part of his duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet.
Dr. Jones was active in his community as a Presbyterian elder, former teacher at the Yong Men’s Bible Class at First Presbyterian in Greensboro, and a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Prison Ministries. He was actively involved in Kiwanis and Rotary as well as the United Way and The Salvation Army.
After his active duty as a fighter pilot in the Navy, Petroleum Helicopters (PHI), of Lafayette, LA hired him as a commercial helicopter pilot flying in some of the most remote regions on earth for firms engaged in the petroleum industry.
In this four-year endeavor he flew in many parts of the world for a variety of oil companies. During a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico he was trapped on a small well-guard about 100 miles from shore, and in winds above 130 miles per hour. After lashing his helicopter and himself to the landing deck, he watched, through the night, as green water broke over the deck and his helicopter about 60 feet above normal water level. When he got to shore the next day, he changed life directions and became a student at what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA. He became a test pilot for PHI and completed an undergraduate degree in accounting and economics.
The George Washington University was his next stop and to pay living expenses he became Captain Dan in helicopter 1260, broadcasting the morning and evening rush hour traffic to the listeners of radio station WWDC. There he earned his MBA and Doctorate in Business and went on to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT as an associate professor of management. He then became the Assistant Dean and Acting Dean of the College of Business of Loyola University, New Orleans. It was here he met an artist who was the motivator for him to create a fine art business that became Galleries One with 22 retail locations in major cities. He moved on to become the Dean who got the School of Business of Eastern Illinois University accredited by the AACSB. After four years the fine art business grew to the point that he had to leave the academic world to be a full time CEO.
Dr. Jones previously served as the Fred L. Proctor, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Business and Chairman, Division of Business at Greensboro College, Greensboro, North Carolina, and a Strategist with Staub Leadership Consultants. He was also part of the founding faculty of the Executive MBA program at Queens University, Charlotte, North Carolina, and served on the Executive MBA faculty of Wake Forest University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina.
He moved the headquarters of the fine art business to Greensboro, NC, where he became an instructor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. After that, he began his professorship at Greensboro College where he created the business program, designed the courses and hired the faculty for the program that soon became forty percent of the total enrollment. With Mr. Proctor and several other investors, he created one of the first firms to provide a bill paying service for individuals. This firm became the bill paying service for First Union National Bank. A short time later Bank of America, then Norwest Bank in Minneapolis that merged with Wells Fargo employed the service. A short time later, CitiBank became the fifth major bank to employ the service and that system today provides all North American banks with their bill paying service.
Surviving is his loving wife, Nancy S. Collins; her sons, Douglas Thomsson, Stephen Collins-Thomsson and wife, Lindsey, their daughter, Cali; W & L friends; academic associates, students and many close dear friends.
A celebration of Dr. Thomas Owen Jones, Jr. will be held at 3 PM, Thursday, October 21,2021 at the Lineberry Center, 515 N. Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401
Donations in Tom’s memory may be made to the Guilford County Animal Shelter, 4525 W. Wendover Ave, Greensboro, NC 27409; or to any animal rescue society of your choice.
Online condolences may be made through www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com.
Celebration of Dr. Thomas O. Jones, Jr.
Hanes-Lineberry Funeral Services
The Lineberry Center
Thomas Owen Jones Jr.
October 17, 2021
How can we express our grief at the loss of such an extraordinary man? He was full of knowledge, wisdom, energy, and compassion. He was always soft-spoken, respectful, and refined.
When I hired him to join the faculty at Winston-Salem State University, I knew that it would be one of the best decisions that I could make. In a nutshell, Tom cared. He cared about students and colleagues; he cared about anyone who had a problem that he could help solve. And he did so with a civility and thoughtfulness that is rare in any setting.
We will miss him because he made the world a better place. He was a dear friend who was much loved by us.
October 17, 2021
Tom and I were roommates a univ of SW LOUISIANA many years ago. As students he was my friend, older than I, but very engaging and worldly above other students. In many respects , Tom was trying to figure out who he was way above the rest of is. He loved talking about his rowing years and what it taught him in leadership. There was always an innovative spirit within. Perhaps now he has found his match in the Heavens with those who understand and treasure him.
Bye roommate. Save a bed for me as we once shared in the dorm! God bless you Tom and your awesome life. No surprise!
October 16, 2021
I am very saddened to learn about Tom's passing. He was a great person and a great and supportive friend.
I met Tom 23 years ago at an economics conference in New York City. I remember he had an air of calmness about him, and his warm smile made me feel immediately at ease. It was like I was meeting an old friend again.
Over the years, I realized Tom was the most kind and gentle person I have ever met. His ability to always find something nice to say about people, no matter how difficult sometimes it must have been, made Tom a true gentleman.
His desire to live life to the fullest, and his ability to regularly reinvent himself to pursue new challenges is an inspiration to everyone who new or worked with Tom.
Well done dear friend!
Rest in peace.
We'll meet again in the afterlife.
October 14, 2021
The news of Dr. Jones passing to glory was difficult to receive. I am one of Dr. Jones, Ph.D. students at Carolina University before his death. Dr. Jones was a scholar with a kind and gentle spirit. A servant leader who was always willing to give a helping hand and sought the best for his student. He was an embodiment of a humble transformational leader. We will miss him.
October 14, 2021
I had the great fortune to work with Tom these
past 8 years. He was a terrific teacher and mentor. His advice and suggestions were always insightful. Plus he was enjoyable to be around. I will miss him a good deal. My sympathy to his family.
October 13, 2021
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Jones at Carolina University over the past two years. Rarely have I met someone so gracious, kind, professional, and supportive. Even with all the accolades and accomplishments of his life's journey, he was humble and always available.
We miss him greatly and are better people for having known him.
May the Lord comfort you as you walk this path of grief,
October 12, 2021
Tom was my department head, my mentor, my friend, my co-author, my cheerleader, and my inspiration. He was a rare individual who saw the potential in so many people and always went out of his way to support others. Tom's had a unique ability to put others at ease and strove to always lift others up. He had accomplished so much and the stories of his ventures and experiences were so rich and meaningful. I will miss him greatly and was honored to walk in his shadow. Truly a life well-lived!
October 12, 2021
My deepest condolence to the family!
From multiple interactions with Dr. Jones in the past 1.5 years, I was very impressed by his energy and work ethics, especially someone at this age. I was so surprised to hear the news because he was still engaged in working with us just a few weeks ago. I will always remember Dr. Jones devotion to work.