Horace Perry Jones
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Horace Perry Jones or to most who knew him, "H.P." passed from this community at 10:30 A.M. on March 19, 2013. He died in Monroe at his beloved home, "the Hideaway," where he had resided for 47 years. H.P. was born February 8, 1930 in High Point, North Carolina to his mother Blanche Perry Jones and his father Grover Jones. He was one of 4 boys. He is preceded in death by his parents and 2 of his siblings. His surviving family includes his wife, Lucia Demma Jones; daughter Beth Jones Ricks and husband Dr. Barry Ricks; daughter Kathy Jones Johnson; grandchildren Thomas Johnson III, Perry Ricks, and Mary Lu Ricks, all of Monroe, LA.; and brother Dr. Michael Jones of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Left to mourn his passing and celebrate his life is his entire University of Louisiana at Monroe and community family; those countless individuals, students, and colleagues who had the privilege and benefit of his devotion and commitment to teaching, education, and especially his lust for living and laughing.
After high school, H.P. served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps where he made the Inchon landing in the Korean War and participated in probably the coldest campaign in American military history—the withdrawal of the Marines from the Chosin Reservoir on the North Korean/Manchurian border in the winter of 1950. H.P. was wounded twice and was finally ordered out of Korea by the authorities after he had turned down several rotation drafts to come home. "I thought we were supposed to stay over there till we won," Jones said. H.P. was awarded 2 purple hearts for his service and remained a proud and loyal Marine until his passing.
Following military service, H.P. attended Mississippi College because he wanted to play football. He knew they mainly trained Baptist preachers and figured that "a little squirt like me would get to play"…and he did. He was elected Co-Captain of the football team and was voted "Most Outstanding Male Athlete" for Mississippi College his Senior year. He next coached and taught in various high schools in both the U.S. and Europe.
In 1960, he became Head Coach and Athletic Director at the American School in London, England. Leaving London in 1961 with a pack on his back, he hitchhiked East around the entire world—a journey that lasted 2 and ½ years. Upon his return from his travels, Jones received a MA in History from Appalachian State University and a Ph.D. in History from Ole Miss.
In 1965, H.P. accepted a position as Assistant Professor of History at ULM, and he and his wife Lucia moved to Monroe, La. He would become known for his infamous lectures, stunts, and humor which would deeply affect tens of thousands of students for almost 5 decades. H.P. was widely published in both history and literature, and in 1972, he was selected as "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" at ULM. In 1978, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Louisiana Society, named Jones the "Most Outstanding College History Teacher in Louisiana."
During the course of his tenure, H.P. was honored several times by various groups and was often sought-out to deliver speeches and talks. But, he was most humbled and proud of 2 honors—the Omicron Delta Kappa students' vote of "Favorite Professor" (which he received every year that he taught) and the invitation to be the commencement speaker for the ULM Graduating Class of Summer 2003. H.P. was a dedicated, passionate supporter of ULM and a fixture both in and out of the classroom. He was a student advocate and attended tailgate parties, poetry readings, and other campus events that promoted ULM spirit and pride. It was a campus joke that his unofficial office was a corner table in the SUB, and both students and colleagues knew to look for the "yellow bug." If it was parked outside Stubbs Hall, H.P. was in the vicinity. He was often heard to say, "My blood is ULM positive."
As passionate as H.P. was about serving his country and his institution, he was as dedicated to his family. He was a loving, supportive husband and father to his wife and daughters who cherish his steadfast humor, strength, and loyalty that made growing together as a family pure joy.
Much appreciation to all those who cared for and visited H.P. during the final weeks of his life. These were very special people to H.P. as they surrounded and supported him. In addition, the family is grateful to Dr. Keith White for his invaluable, personal devotion to H.P.'s care, healing, and comfort.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Dr. H.P. Jones History Scholarship. Please contact the ULM Foundation for information.
A memorial service will be held celebrating H.P.'s life at 5:00 PM Sunday, March 24, 2013 at Parkview Baptist Church, 1001 Forsythe Avenue, Monroe, LA under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Monroe. Following the memorial service for H.P., the family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall at Parkview Baptist Church. Online condolence messages may be sent to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com
Kilpatrick Funeral Home
Kilpatrick Funeral Home
1200 Lamy Lane
Monroe, LA 71201
Published in The News Star on Mar. 23, 2013