A Montana son and Army-proud soldier died on Sept. 22, 2016, at Bozeman Health Hospital in Bozeman, Montana. David Lee Jones, born Aug. 5, 1947, was also "our son", "my dad", "our brother", and "my husband".
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Born to Anna (Patterson) and Merlin Jones in Glendive, Montana, Dave's childhood was instilled by his parents with values and beliefs that carried him through life. His family moved to Bozeman as he began high school, where he played football and went on to Montana State University (MSU) Class of 1969. He was an ROTC Cadet, and after graduating with a Degree in History, began his 26-year Army career at Fort Benning, Georgia, that took him throughout the States, South Korea, Germany and Hawaii. His peers and senior officers recognized him as a soldier's soldier-Dave's men and women took precedence over his own interests far ahead of his own life. Recognition of any kind did not belong to him but to the 21-year old enlisted soldier and the noncommissioned officers who serve our nation and who would give their lives, definitely not to any leaders way behind the lines. Colonel Jones would tell you this at great length until he had all listeners thoroughly convinced.
Dave loved to chat as Dean, Kone, CSM Hensley, and 1SG Jones would all attest. He talked about basketball, football, who not to vote for at any time in the political cycle, and if you were really lucky, about the Civil War. One could not meet him without quickly learning that Montana was God's country; he was a walking, talking Chamber of Commerce for the State.
After retirement in 1994, Dave returned home and was lucky enough to have a mini "homestead". He was the Ditch Rider for Mammoth Ditch, retiring this year, and thoroughly enjoyed the folks he met: Bob and Blayne, Dick, Rick, and so many others. He mastered woodworking, could build almost anything, and made a couple of hunting knives and black powder rifles from scratch with skills he had learned from his Dad. His library fills bookcases; "Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara his favorite ("even if it was fiction"). Years of hunting turned into simply enjoying his beloved Montana outdoors.
Dave married the late Kathleen Erickson in 1967, and they had one son. He then married the former Hannelore Hohne and divorced in 1980. He leaves Linda Tilton Jones, whom he married in 1981, now at home in Belgrade, Montana. He is also survived by his parents, Anna and Merlin Jones, of Belgrade. His second love was his son, Kelly Michael Jones, and his precious wife, Silvia Garcia Jones; and next were his beloved grandsons, Cole and Zack, who made his days sunny, all of San Diego, California. He is further survived by his sister, Carolyn Robinson and her husband, Larry, of Belgrade and their three daughters, Stacy and Kevin Davis of Post Falls, Idaho, and their children, Logan and Natal; Tana and Kevin Frueh of Belgrade and their son, Peyton; and Joy and Bo Davis of Charlotte, North Carolina, and their children, Jaylen and Jurney. Dave's sister, Aneda and husband, Bake Riebeek, also survive him in Arboles, Colorado. Other family members and friends will remember Dave always.
A private funeral service will be held in Glendive, Montana.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 25, 2016