Arthur William Jones (’66)

Arthur William (Bill) Jones, 77, of Houston, Texas, died on September 13, 2020. With an optimistic outlook, he fought a difficult battle with cancer for over a year, made even more challenging at the end due to so many unexpected changes and isolation caused by the pandemic. Bill was born in Newgulf, Wharton County, Texas, on August 05, 1943, to parents Earl Franklin Jones and Ruby Celeste (Mitchell) Jones. He spent his formative years moving frequently with his family between jobs across the oil patch in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi; settling in Jackson for a number of years before returning with his family to Houston. Bill attended Murrah High School (Jackson), Westbury High School (Houston), and the University of Houston. He began his career in the steel business, but found his true calling was small business. He owned and partnered in multiple small businesses including janitorial services, travel, industrial coating, telecommunications, and retail. Bill was a passionate poker player, avid hunter, cook, traveler and later in life, a collector of mid-century Mexican modern art. His was also an aviator whose love of flight began in college with his first plane, an Aeronca Champion that he both purchased and assembled personally with his father. His children remember fondly many weekend flights with him up and down the Gulf Coast in his Cessna 150. Bill was a voracious reader and conversationalist. He could speak knowingly and at great length about almost any random topic-often surprising others with his knowledge of their area of expertise. He was equally adept at fascinating or frustrating a captive audience. Bill was a connector. He had a knack for making new friends and acquaintances and took pride in helping others make both professional and personal connections. His stepson was continually amused whenever he traveled because he would inevitably strike up a conversation with someone who knew his stepfather. Bill was active in Rotary International, serving in volunteer and leadership positions including President of the Memorial-Spring Branch Rotary Club. He was active as well in multiple international club exchange programs, through which he developed many lifelong friendships with Rotarians in Mexico and other countries. Bill is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Carolyn Vinson Jones; and his three children, Arthur William (Bill) Jones, Jr., and partner Daniel Holland of Dallas, Texas; Christopher Nelson Jones and wife Anna Marie (Spellacy) of Lynchburg, Virginia; and Jamie Leigh Lancaster of Henderson, Kentucky; and two stepsons, Marc Hunt and wife Kensie (Sitka) of Houston, Texas; and Landon Hunt of Houston, Texas. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Tanner Nelson Jones; Marty Smith (Trey) Lancaster, III; Bryce William Jones; and Genavieve Hunt; and his brother, Earl Franklin Jones, Jr., and wife Judyann (Lipp) of Lacey, Washington. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Carl Milton Jones and sister-in-law Judith Marie (Hoffman) Jones of Houston, Texas. A memorial service will be held on a future date to be determined. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family encourages others to consider a memorial contribution to the Rotary Foundation at have been entrusted to Claire Brothers Funeral Home, 7901 Hillcroft Street, Houston, Texas 77081.

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