Robert E. “Bob” Jones
Nov. 23, 1930 – Nov. 20, 2019
WESLACO, Texas — Robert E. “Bob” Jones died in sunny and warm Weslaco, Texas, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, three days before his 89th birthday. He was 88.
He was born Nov. 23, 1930, at his family’s home, in Emporia, the son of Robert Lumley and Nellie May Parsons Jones. He had a sister, LaVeda May (Jones) Childers.
He married the woman of his dreams, Elsie Mae Hurndon, June 23, 1951, at Keesler Air Force Base, in Mississippi.
After his father died, when he was 11 years old, Bob started working to support his family. He worked as a gas station attendant, pumping fuel up into the glass globe to measure it. Bob recalled, “You had to figure out the cost in your head.” He sold and delivered the Emporia Gazette and Kansas City Star, which was challenging, as many people worked to avoid him at payment collection time. He worked as a soda jerk at Krumm’s Drug Store. While he was in high school, he worked the night shift at Rainbow Bakery, while attending high school during the day.
He attended Emporia Public Schools. He served his country honorably with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Bob was stationed at Johnson Air Base outside Tokyo, Japan. He was with a group on temporary duty, providing reconnaissance out of Masawa, Japan. After the war, he returned to work as a lineman for Kansas Electric Power (currently known as Evergy). Bob worked for Westar for 43 years, serving in several roles. He served as the superintendent of substation system construction at his retirement in July 1992.
As a young father, he served as a Cub Scout pack leader for his older sons. He was a member of the Arab Shrine, where he participated in the Escorts, Topless (convertible automobile), and as a hospital driver, transporting children and parents to and from Shrine Hospitals.
He was a life member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is a member of Masonic Lodge 90 from Topeka, Kansas.
Bob was fortunate to have found true love twice. After the death of his beloved Elsie, he married Judy Shively on May 1, 2006, in Eureka Springs, Ark. Judy survives, in Carbondale, and Weslaco, Texas, depending on the season. He considered Judy “a Godsend” for him, as he was lost without Elsie.
Bob and Judy enjoyed their days together, dancing, visiting friends, helping people out and reading books. Bob loved to read. They spent every winter in Weslaco, Texas, as they both preferred to be in a warm climate. Bob loved his wife, family and friends and enjoyed being warm.
Bob and Elsie enjoyed many long motorcycle adventures on their Honda Aspencade. They usually took three weeks of vacation on their motorcycle every August, visiting both coasts. After his retirement in 1992, which Bob noted as “the best time of my life,” he and Elsie began spending summers traveling on their motorcycle and winters in Apache Junction, Ariz. In the spring of 1999, Bob and Elsie returned to the home they had built together north of Topeka. Elsie preceded him in death on June 28, 1999.
Bob shared many memories of his Air Force service. He was blessed to have the opportunity of an honor flight to visit the monuments in Washington, D.C. in May 2017. Bob’s escort was Emma Pettay, of Wamego High School. During the flight, he was given letters from his wife and children, during a mail call. His flight was an important memory for him, and he wore his Honor Flight hat with pride of his service for the people of the United States.
He is survived by four children, Robert Jones (Pam), William Jones (Jan), Deana Jones (Dana Kelly), and James Jones (Trudy); four grandchildren, Jeffrey Jones, Weston Jones, Courtney Jones, and Garrett Smith; four great-grandchildren, Dominick Jones, Kimber Jones, Karli DaPrato, and Hayes Alan Warren; three stepchildren, Jim Shively (Michele), Duane Shively (Cyndi), and Debi Studdard (Al); and 18 step-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Parker-Price Funeral Home, 245 N.W. Independence Ave., Topeka. Burial with military honors will follow at Rochester Cemetery. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, Bob requested memorial donations to the Shriner’s Hospital Travel Fund and sent in care of Arab Shrine, 1305 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS 66612.
To leave a message for Bob’s family, visit www.ParkerPriceFH.com.