Chester Jones, age 73, of Houston, passed away on the 18th of January 2013 after a brief battle with recurrent lung cancer.
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Chester, a fifth generation Texan, was born in his home in Haskell, Texas on the 3rd of January 1940. He was the fourth of five children of Jesse Jones and Annie Lena (Curry) Jones, and grandson of Chester Jones and Nellie (Bryant) Jones, and Charles Edward Curry and Lela Antoinette (Hunt) Curry.
His grandfather, Chester Jones, was a Baptist minister and missionary to rural communities in frontier Throckmorton, Haskell and Jack Counties at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Rev. C. Jones traveled his circuit by horse, logging up to 400 miles a year. After retiring from his missionary work, he founded and was pastor of the Fundamental Baptist Church (now the Trinity Baptist Church) in Haskell.
Rev. C. Jones and his son, Jesse Jones, founded the Jones & Son Sheet Metal Works, which designed and manufactured sheet metal piping and fittings for cotton gins throughout the South Plains area of West Texas. From the age of eight through high school, Chester learned basic skills of those trades and worked all non-school hours at the shop. He attended the Haskell schools and was active in the band, basketball, FFA and the National Honor Society. He then married Linda Muriel Lane in 1959 and together they were parents of his three children.
Chester attended the University of Texas at Austin while working several jobs to support his family, and received a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics in 1962. A number theory class in his sophomore year provided his first exposure to electronic computers - an IBM 650 - and led him to join the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade, Maryland upon his graduation. His work with computing applications earned him numerous awards while with the agency. Also, during his tenure with the NSA, he was assigned to Bell Labs as part of an effort to develop MULTICS, a mainframe-based, time-sharing computing utility, which was later adapted to become Unix.
In 1967, Chester began his 28-year career with Shell Oil Company, which brought him and his family to Houston. While beginning in the research organization, subsequent assignments involved many of the company's other activities. He was sponsored by Shell as a Sloan Fellow in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and was awarded a master's degree in management in 1979.
In 1985, Chester transferred to The Hague, The Netherlands and was responsible for Royal Dutch Shell's IT organization there and in London.
It was there that Chester married his soul mate, Charlotte Jean Harrison, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in a simple ceremony in the old town hall ("Het oude stadhuis aan de Groenmarkt"). After returning to Houston with Charlotte in 1986, Chester continued his career with Shell until his retirement in 1995 as General Manager of the Shell Business Services Company.
Chester was an active volunteer throughout his adult life. He was co-founder of the Houston United Way's Management Assistance Program and founder of its Computer Learning Lab. He served on the board of the Children's Assessment Center, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and served as President of BraeBurn Country Club where he loved to play golf. For more than ten years, he prepared income tax returns for elderly and low-income individuals as part of the TaxAide program. However, his greatest volunteer contribution was serving on the board of St. Luke's Episcopal Health System for 25 years including the last 4 years as Executive Chairman. During his tenure, the system created the Episcopal Health Charities, built the O'Quinn Medical Tower and added a network of 5 community hospitals to the flagship in the Texas Medical Center. In early January, he was honored by a proclamation for his service signed by all six Episcopal Bishops with whom he served and the conference center on the 27th floor of the O'Quinn Medical Tower was named in his and Charlotte's honor.
Chester was predeceased by his parents; his three sisters: Mary Jo (Jones) Price, Jessie Ruth (Jones) Nesbitt, and Lelia Nell (Jones) Hix. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Charlotte Harrison Jones; son, Chester Lane Jones and wife Diane Stevenson Jones of Orlando, Florida; daughter, Jessica René Jones of Houston; son, John David Jones and wife Lisa Kelly Jones of Houston; and grandchildren: Kirby Scott Jones, Mason Clark Jones, Connor Andrew Jones, and Evan Michael Jones; and by his brother, David Jones and wife Marsha of Fairhope, Alabama.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Saturday, the 26th of January, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas will hold a celebration of Chester's life during a funeral service at three o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, the 27th of January, at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue in Houston. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the Reynolds Hall.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in memory of Chester may be directed to Friends of Nursing, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, (MC 3-206), P.O. Box 20269, Houston, TX, 77225.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23, 2013