OBITUARY

Richard D. Jones

July 12, 1946April 25, 2018
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Richard Dennis Jones, 71 of Alvin, Texas formerly of Buckholts, Texas passed away April 25, 2018 at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Visitation will be held from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Marek-Burns-Laywell Funeral Home in Cameron, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Marek-Burns-Laywell Funeral Home in Cameron, Texas. Burial will follow at Hope Lutheran Memorial Park Cemetery in Buckholts, Texas. Richard was born on July 12, 1946 in Houston, TX to Morris and Martha Tomasek Jones. He was a member of the US Navy serving in Vietnam and Morocco, North Africa. He married Norma Barkemeyer on May 23, 1977. He earned his associates degree from Blinn College, his BS degree in Wildlife from Texas A&M University and his Masters degree in Range Management from Sul Ross State University. He was a Range Conservationist for the federal government serving in several states. Later he owned his own business, Jones-Smith Environmental Services in Alvin, Texas. Richard is survived by his wife, Norma Jones, daughters, Jennifer Wall, Stephanie Jones and Joanna Veal, sister, Linda Culp, brothers, Morris Jones, Michael Jones and Matthew Jones, five granddaughters and one grandson.

  • FAMILY

  • Norma Jones, Wife
  • Jennifer Wall, Daughter
  • Stephanie Jones, Daughter
  • Joanna Veal, Daughter
  • Shannon Wall, Son-in-law
  • Heath Hughling, Son-in-law
  • Justin Veal, Son-in-law
  • Morris Jones, Brother
  • Allen Jones, Brother
  • Michael Jones, Brother
  • Matthew Jones, Brother
  • Linda Culp, Sister
  • Martha Lee Tomasek, Mother
  • Morris Jones, Father
  • Rhiannon Payne, Granddaughter
  • Jaina Veal, Granddaughter
  • Alyssa Wall, Granddaughter
  • Jolee Veal, Granddaughter
  • Austin Wall, Grandson
  • Saylor Hughling, Granddaughter
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Justin Veal , Pallbearer
  • Shannon Wall , Pallbearer
  • Heath Hughling , Pallbearer
  • Rick Ingram , Pallbearer
  • Michael Jones, Pallbearer
  • Matthew Jones, Pallbearer
  • Alan Barkemeyer, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Morris Jones, Honorary Pallbearer

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, April 29, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, April 30, 2018
REMEMBERING

Richard D. Jones

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Biography

Richard D. Jones was a modest man, quiet and observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to his life and in his relationships. He was tough-minded with the kind of “stick to it” attitude that earned the respect of all who knew him. He was also a man who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything he undertook. Realistic about life, he was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.

His parents were Morris Marvin Jones and Martha Lee Tomasek Jones. Richard was raised in Houston, Beaumont and Buckholts, Texas. He was brought up to be self-confident and dependable. These were traits that would serve him well throughout his life.

Growing up in the Jones household was a bit different than most homes. There were good times to be had, but just as often there was a fair share of challenges as well. However, Richard was able to work through the usual family problems when they appeared, and he was the one person in the family who seemed able to keep the stress at bay. Richard was raised with five siblings. He had one older sister, one older brother and three younger brothers. Richard was constantly involved in activities with his brothers and sisters. Richard and his siblings may have had the typical rivalries while growing up but Richard was always consistently loyal to his family.

As a young child, Richard was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. He wasn’t pushy and never forced his way into games or other activities. Richard developed a variety of interests, though, and the things he enjoyed doing he did well. He was always curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it. Richard took part in baseball, basketball and football. In his spare time he liked to hike in the woods, hunt and fish. Richard's memorable achievements included completing a correspondence course on animal taxidermy at the age of fifteen. However, what Richard enjoyed most was simply playing and spending time with his many friends.

While his teachers and even his friends generally thought of Richard as being a serious person, he managed to have a pretty good time in high school as he made that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. He graduated from Buckholts High School in Buckholts, Texas in 1965. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was Texas History. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was Mr. Leon Brady. He was an avid sports player participating in track, basketball, and football making All-district End his senior year. Richard was a very logical person who enjoyed learning about factual information. Using his exceptional memory, he was able to learn much through observation. Richard always seemed to have a command of the facts and was able to make it seem as though he could easily master any problem that might be presented to him.

College life brought with it a new set of challenges, but Richard handled them well. Being a critical thinker who always remained intellectually independent, Richard was able to focus on the task at hand in order to complete his class work. He seemed to thrive on college reading assignments, something that often bogged down his classmates. Richard was able to read the material and retain the information in a way that impressed his fellow classmates. The ability to efficiently complete the task at hand was a skill that served Richard well during his college experience. He earned his AA from Blinn College in 1972 and his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife from Texas A&M University in 1974. He also pursued graduate school, earning his Masters in Range Management from Sul Ross State University in 1980. His favorite courses were animal science and range management. His favorite professor was Dr. Brian Cain at Texas A&M. Richard's graduate study was a research project entitled Effects of Herbicides on Threadleaf Groundsel in West Texas.

Always considered to be a solid friend, Richard was fortunate to have numerous acquaintances and several very close friends during his life. Since he disliked making generalizations about people and preferred to draw his own conclusions based on direct observation, Richard was able to see beneath the surface of relationships and became a true friend to those who knew him. He was committed to his friends and valued the trust he placed in them. It was not uncommon for Richard to go beyond the call of duty for others, and friends frequently sought him out for advice because he had a knack for coming up with practical solutions to any type of dilemma. While growing up, some of his best friends were Lawrence Hanke, Leland Janes, and Jimmy Prater. Later in life, he became good friends with Ron Brinkly and Charles Sullivan.

On May 23, 1977 Richard exchanged wedding vows with Norma Jo Barkemeyer at the City Hall of Georgetown, Texas. Compassionate and devoted to Norma, Richard held endearing, traditional values about marriage and family life. He took the responsibility of marriage to heart, giving it his total commitment. He was a source of strength to Norma and using his gifts at nurturing one-on-one relationships, he worked hard to make his new family happy.

Richard brought the same traditional values in his marriage to bear on how he raised his children. He was a good parent to them, always firm yet fair in his dealings. He would always listen carefully and think things through before he acted, even when it was an adverse situation. Richard and Norma were blessed with three daughters, Jennifer, Stephanie and Joanna. They were also blessed with six grandchildren, Rhiannon Payne, Alyssa and Austin Wall, Saylor Hughling, and Jaina and Jolee Veal.

Richard greatly enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a hard worker who expected the same in return from his co-workers. He was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. Richard enjoyed dealing with concrete ideas and could penetrate any amount of fuzzy information to reach the essential facts. Always able to attend to the task at hand, Richard was excellent at meeting deadlines. He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. His primary occupation was as a Range Conservationist. He was employed by the federal government as a Range Conservationist for 20 years. He worked as a Forest Ranger in the Salmon and Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho, as a Range Conservationist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Keams Canyon, Arizona, as a Range Conservationist and Fire Manager for the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Cache, Oklahoma and as a Range Conservationist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Mora, New Mexico. He was the owner of Jones/Smith Environmental Service in Alvin, Texas for 15 years doing wetland delineations along the Texas and Louisiana coast. Richard worked hard doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

Richard was a Navy veteran. He was in the Navy from 1967 to 1970. He served one year in Vietnam and three years in Morocco, North Africa. Richard saw action for a year in Vietnam. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of E-5. He received praise for his valor, including being awarded Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal,and Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation. A literal thinker who possessed a calm exterior, Richard seemed to enjoy the routines set forth by the military. His results-oriented approach to things made him committed to the job, and he understood well his role in serving his country.

Richard liked to experience things first-hand as well as learn about them. Since he enjoyed his private time, Richard always tried to allocate a specific time for working on his hobbies. His favorite pursuits were fly tying, fishing and hunting. Richard was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

Richard found pleasure in sports. Being a person who was comfortable making win/lose decisions throughout life, he could appreciate that athletes made those types of decisions in sport. In high school, Richard played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. In his college years, Richard worked to put himself through school so he had little time for extra curricular activities. He would watch his favorite sporting events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were fishing and hunting.

Many organizations were grateful to have Richard as a member, since he always brought with him a “stick to it” attitude and a high degree of common sense. In high school, Richard was a member of the Future Farmers of America. Throughout his later years, Richard was an active member of the Society of Range Management.

When Richard’s retirement finally arrived in 2009, he was well prepared. He always trusted and placed value in what was logical and in the things he knew, so he was very confident in planning his retirement. He had begun the process early and had his retirement all laid out well in advance. He retired to Alvin, Texas. Even in retirement, Richard continued to stay in touch with his old friends.

Richard D. Jones passed away on April 25, 2018 at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Richard fought a six year battle against Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He is survived by his wife Norma, daughters Jennifer Wall, Stephanie Jones and Joanna Veal and his grandchildren Rhiannon Payne, Alyssa and Austin Wall, Saylor Hughling, and Jaina and Jolee Veal, his sister Linda Culp, brothers Morris, Michael and Matthew Jones. Services were held at Marek-Burns-Laywell Funeral Home in Cameron, Texas. Richard was laid to rest in Hope Lutheran Memorial Park in Buckholts, Texas.

Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Richard D. Jones. He was committed to living the life of a good man who was both practical and trustworthy. He was committed to the traditional values that he upheld his entire life. He committed himself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around him. Most of all, he was committed to those he knew and loved.



Norma's Writes,

Dear Richard,
Thank you for coming into my life 40 years ago and asking me to be your wife. You gave me three beautiful daughters and a life filled with adventure. Thank you for moving me to Idaho and showing the beauty in the mountains that surrounded us and for showing me that I could survive in a town with a population of 45. Thank you for moving me to Keams Canyon, Arizona and for comforting me when I learned the nearest town was 80 miles away. I loved our life on the Hopi Reservation. We met some wonderful people and made cherished memories. Thank you for moving me to Lawton, Oklahoma where I was only one move away from Texas. And finally, thank you for moving me back to Texas and helping me spend the next 34 years raising our girls, watching them become loving, caring young women.
Thank you for letting me spoil our grandkids and for spoiling them yourself when I wasn't looking. Thank you for showing our girls that hard work and a good life go hand in hand. Thank you for showing them that they need God in their lives in the good times as well as the bad. Thank you for showing me what true courage is, and for showing me how to face the most devastating news and to go on living by putting it all in God's hands. You were a brave and loving man. I know you will be watching over us until we are all together again. I love you.

Forever your wife.




Jennifer Writes

Dad,
I want to start off by thanking you for being my dad. I want to thank you for being there for me and giving me memories that will last a life time. Thank you for a great childhood. Thank you for all the karate lessons and taking us swimming every summer. For teaching me about animals and wild life. I was always so proud to tell everyone my dad was a Biologist. For taking me to all of my first days of school, for helping me with all my science fair projects and for going to donuts with dad. Thank you for helping me buy my first car and showing me how to take care of it. Thank you letting me work for you when you had your business. I enjoyed going to eat lunch with you and listening to the oldies everyday. Thank you for working so hard to give us a college education. Thank you for giving me braces and a beautiful smile. Thank you for the stability and support. For always giving me reassurance that no matter what, I could always come back home. Thank you for being a wonderful grandfather to my kids. They will miss their PawPaw. Thank you, for all the sacrifices you made just to make sure we had a good life. You are a wonderful dad. I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life. Thank you for your courage and strength, especially these last few years. I know you're in a better place. I am forever grateful that I was chosen to be your daughter and you my dad. Until we see each other again. I will miss you.

I love you dearly, Jennifer




Stephanie writes,

Dad,
You have taught me lessons in life. You were such a hard worker and devoted to your career. You worked your whole life to make sure we had everything we wanted. You taught me that hard work and education are the most important things to get ahead in life, to be independent and to be able to make it on my own. I'm thankful that you helped me get through college (a few times) to become a teacher and a nurse. You showed me the simple things in life- like being out in nature, fishing in the Bayou, raising us in a small town, taking care of the things you had, family history, family values and traditions. And when you got sick you showed me what it truly means to be strong. For anyone to be put through the grueling regimen of cancer treatment day after day, year after year, and to come out on the other side twice, you are a hero to me. I will pass on the many life lessons you taught me to my own daughter so that your legacy may live on through her.



Joanna writes,

Daddy,
I have such great memories with you that I will cherish forever. Some of my favorite memories with you included going on our nightly bike rides around the neighborhood to Camp Mohawk, sometimes picking up all the neighborhood kids to bike along with us. Swimming at Monsanto pool. We would beg you to go down the swirly slide and then when you finally did we would get such a kick out of it. We loved playing in the sandbox you built us and going on picnics at Liverpool park. Every Halloween you would carve pumpkins with us and go trick or treating with us. You would drive me to school every morning, stopping along the way to pick up all the other kids in the neighborhood too. As we got older you would take me and my friends to the beach during the summers and we would attend church together, just me and you! We took our one and only family vacation one summer to San Antonio and West Texas. Working at your office in the summers. And I took my first plane ride to New Mexico to come see you.
You taught me a lot about life, how to share, how to be patient and that life is hard and it isn't always fair. You taught me to work hard, get a good education and how to be an independent. I'm thankful for you providing us with all the things we needed and wanted, for my education and sending me to college, and for my teeth! Braces were a must in our family! But most of all I'm thankful for you always protecting me and looking out for me. You always told me I could come talk to you about anything, anytime I wanted to and you always assured us how much you loved us. I watched you fight a long hard battle to the very end. As I laid with you the night you passed away God gave me a vision in my sleep of Jesus coming down upon you to take you home to Heaven for eternal life. I know without a doubt in my heart you are with Jesus. Though I will miss you everyday I now know I will get to see you again in Heaven one day.




Rhiannon Writes,

To my PawPaw,

Thank you for teaching me so much about life, you taught me many different things. Watching you deal and take on the long journey you went through showed me what it really means to be a fighter and not give up. I will forever remember and cherish the memories we have together. When I was little and you worked far away me and Mimi were always at the airport to pick you up, you never forgot to bring me back a pack of those peanuts they gave you on the plane. So for every flight I take later in life I'll always remember to get some.
I'll remember the trips we had going and coming back from Temple with just you and I. We stopped at the meat market and you let me pick out some beef jerky. I know it meant a lot to you about us girls making something out of life and having a future for ourselves so whenever I start college not only will I try for myself but for you as well. I'll remember how happy you'd be. I'll be sure to tell my baby girl what an awesome great-grandpa she would've had. You were such a hard working and loving man, you loved and cared for your family so much. I'm so proud of you. You took on such a long battle and fought as long as you could. You have no more pain and you're able to live a happy life in Heaven. I know you're not alone and my daddy is up there with you. I have two awesome men watching over me. Whenever you said your goodbye to me at the hospital, you said you were ready to checkout and get to the "party". So I hope your enjoying the party. I'll meet with you again one day but until then I will love you always.