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Rick Jones

James Richard Jones Jr., organic apple grower, snake wrangler, and dog lover, died Saturday June 29th, 2013. Known to everyone but telemarketers as Rick Jones, Rick was a proud lifelong Boulder County resident, his family having moved to Boulder in 1902, long before the Californians arrived. Rick was born December 17, 1945 to James Richard (Dick) Jones and Marylyn Essig Jones. It was his grandfather, James Templeton Jones, who established Jones Drug in Boulder in 1902. He grew up in an idyllic time in Boulder on his family's farm off of South Boulder Road. Rick graduated in 1964 from Fairview High School, where he lettered all four years in football, track and, most significant to him - wrestling. He received his bachelor's degree in 1969 from the University of Colorado, where he also lettered in wrestling and was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Rick loved The Broncos, CU Buffs football, Westerns, a hot sunny day, diet Mt. Dew, Coors Banquet, a good steak, oatmeal raisin cookies, homemade Father's Day cards, Blazing Saddles, the lottery, his family, his dog Zeppo (he finally had the perfect dog), foot massages, winning at anything, road trips, and haggling for a good deal (or better yet, getting ANYTHING for free). He especially enjoyed attempting to entertain strangers - whether or not they understood his sense of humor. Even with all his loves, he had a particular dislike for "lying weasels", bad drivers, cold dark days, "funny beer", driving through Utah (and the subsequent speeding tickets issued by Utah Highway Patrol), wearing a seatbelt, and losing at anything. Although always an artist at heart, Rick enjoyed an interesting life with varied occupations. He spent one summer in college working on a stakeout for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Red Bluff Bay where he and his friend Peter Nord managed to arrest a crew of poachers with thousands of pounds of illegally caught salmon in their nets ("Ahoy! Department of Fish and Game! You're under arrest!"). During and following college, he joined the Merchant Marines, which gave him the opportunity to visit numerous European and South East Asian countries, an experience that concluded with Rick living and working in Spain. Upon his return to the U.S., he obtained his real estate license and worked in that field until he became a licensed building contractor, constructing and renovating properties for himself and others. Not necessarily a "detail guy," he was a magician when it came to fixing things. It might not have looked pretty, but he made sure that it worked! In spite of his rugged good looks, it may come as a surprise that Rick cared little of what people thought of him, especially regarding his attire. His signature style included worn-out Crocs with mid-ankle white sweat socks, cargo shorts (most likely with paint splatters) and a pocket t-shirt with a white Hanes undershirt poking up through the collar. Rick had a similar attitude concerning the vehicles he owned. He spent most of his adult life driving trucks with driver-side windows powered by a manual crank. It was one of the "nice" trucks if the crank wasn't rigged with one of his wrenches in lieu of the original handle. The same lack of concern for what others thought of him was one of the handy traits that made Rick such a great negotiator. Rick considered his family his greatest accomplishment in life. He met his wife Colleen when she was just a few days into college at the University of Colorado at a party (which he attended despite having graduated several years earlier). Many decades and nearly 40 years of marriage later, he would still refer to her as the love of his life. Together they had three children: Andrew, Kelsey and Riley, about whom Rick would boast, "One born in each decade - the 70s, the 80s and the 90s". Rick took great pride in any part he played in the success of his children. They all received their father's creative abilities as well as his other attributes: Andrew exhibits Rick's artistic talent, Kelsey inherited his business acumen and Riley shares his sense of humor and curiosity. Above all, Rick taught his children what it means to be a wonderful father and loving husband. On his small farm just outside of Lyons, Rick enjoyed working in his apple orchard and loved sharing a good crop with groups of school children in the fall who would come pick his apples and climb his trees. It was in his barn on the property that he spent time painting, building, sculpting and wood carving. He considered his three children and the life and home that he built for his family his finest work of art. Rick will be remembered for his quirky sense of humor, fearlessness, strength, and dedication to those he loved. Rick is survived by his family, who don't what they will do without him. Rick's loved ones include his wife, Colleen Jones, his two sons Andrew Peter Jones (Phaedra) and Riley Matthew Jones, both of Lyons, his daughter Kelsey Jones Edralin (Ray) and his grandson Max Pietro Edralin of Seattle, WA. His survivors also include his sister Candace McKinley (Chuck) of Santa Fe, NM and his extended Lyons family-in-law. Rick's family would love to hear any memories or stories you would like to share. Please email them to jonesfarm1945@gmail.com.


Published in The Boulder Daily Camera on July 28, 2013
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