Roger Myron Jones of Battle Ground, Wash., died Dec. 10, 2013 in Seattle. He died of complications from a recent stem cell transplant he had undergone to battle cancer. A memorial is tentatively planned for early summer. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to send donations to The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at seattlecca.org which includes the research hospital and housing facility where he was receiving care, or a
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Roger was born Sept. 28, 1936, at home in Glenwood, to the late Myron and Lucille Phelps Jones. He was raised on a farm with no electricity and rode a horse and cart to the local one-room school. He learned how to problem solve and fix things with his father, which later in life contributed to his love of helping others. In high school he won first place at the Iowa State Fair Tractor Driving Contest. He was a second-generation agronomy graduate from Iowa State University in Ames, in 1958. In 1959 he married Linda K. Shearer in Denver. After that, he decided to pursue his lifelong passion for flying by becoming a flight instructor in Lincoln, Neb., after serving four years in the Air Force. In 1966, he was hired by United Airlines in Chicago. For 30 years he flew many different commercial aircraft all over the U.S. In addition he flew gliders, antique aircraft, helped rebuild a Beechcraft Staggerwing and inspired three of his sons to follow in his flying footsteps. He loved to teach and impart his extensive knowledge of the mechanics of flying.
With several fellow pilots he farmed in Poplar Grove, Ill., during the 70s, raising soybeans, peas and corn for Green Giant and hogs. Later, he and his wife Linda lived in many beautiful areas of California from the winemaking region, to the mountains and finally the coast. During this time he also enjoyed woodworking, sailing and motorcycling. After retirement he continued to reinvent himself by becoming a partner in a window washing business, and a local handyman/designer for his neighbors and friends on the northern California coast. He never grew tired of helping in his community and with other volunteers, helped build a library in Point Arena, Calif. He continued to participate with advances in technology over his lifetime, which spanned from doing homework as a child by an oil lamp, to flying sophisticated planes, to communicating on the World Wide Web on his cell phone (which was never far from his side).
Roger is survived by his wife Linda, five children: Dan (Lori) of Pennsylvania; Chris (Phil) of Hawaii; Julie (Dave) of Washington; Jesse (Kim) of California; and Joe (Ashley) of Virginia; eight grandchildren; his sister Eleanor (Dale) of Oregon; brothers and sisters-in-law, and many cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Published in The Opinion-Tribune on Dec. 25, 2013