Rodney D. Jones Sr., 81, a retired captain of the U.S. Air Force, died of natural causes Friday, March 29, at a local hospital.
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A private family service is planned at Fort Harrison. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Rod was born Nov. 26, 1932, in Great Falls. He attended his early school years in Great Falls before moving with his parents, Monna and Buck Jones, to Butte. He graduated from Butte Public High School and attended college in Bozeman. On Sept. 26, 1954, he married Louise Elaine Allen in Elton, La. They eventually had three children and traveled the world together during his career with the U.S. Air Force. He graduated from officer training school and served in the Korean Conflict and as an intelligence officer in Vietnam, as well as at the National Security Agency in Maryland. He received both the Air Force Commendation and the Bronze Star for his combat service. He enjoyed camping, fishing, shooting, photography, aircraft modeling, coaching son David's sports teams, golfing and bowling. He was an avid HAM radio operator in the 1960s, and he enjoyed time with family and friends in Maryland.
After retirement from the Air Force and a divorce, he returned to Montana. In 1976, he married Rita Trubell Caricaburu and blended her children into his family. He devoted much of his time to the American Legion, of which he was a past commander and life member. He resumed golfing and became a doting grandfather. When Rita's health declined, he was a loving caretaker for many years. She preceded him in death in 2010.
He is survived by daughter Cherie Heckford (Joe) of Oviedo, Fla.; son David Jones of Woodruff, S.C.; daughter Terri Selckmann (Paul), of Kent Island, Md.; granddaughter Amber Jones of Pensacola, Fla.; grandson Damien Jones (Sarah) of Ankeny, Iowa; grandson Christopher Nash (Sarah) of Edgewater, Md.; granddaughter Ashley Selckmann of Kent Island, Md.; granddaughter Kayla Heckford of Oviedo, FL, great-granddaughters Haile Bell and Halina Bell of Pensacola; Ava Jones and Myah Jones of Ankeny; and Addison Nash of Edgewater.
He also is survived by Rita's children, Linda Caricaburu (Brad Talcott) of Great Falls; Susan Caricaburu (Jesse Johnston) of Portland, Ore.; Kathy Caricaburu (Eric Perlin) of Seattle; granddaughters Marian and Grace Talcott of Great Falls and Crystal Caricaburu Lundin of San Diego; and grandson Daniel Caricaburu Lundin (Krystle) of Virginia Beach, Va.
Memorials are suggested to the Great Falls Rescue Mission, PO Box 129, Great Falls, MT 59403 or Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
Condolences may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 3, 2013