Stephen Jones
1941 - 2015
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Stephen P. Jones

Asheville - Stephen Powell Jones, 73, a lifelong educator and community leader, died Friday, January 9, 2015 peacefully of brain cancer at home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Stephen was known for his exuberance, big heart, and advocacy for social justice.

He was the tall, slender, smiling man seen around town, ascending Town Mountain on his electric bike, cleaning trash from riverbanks, steering conversation on local boards, teaching adult immigrants to read, and serving as witness for same-sex marriages. He would spend an hour rototilling his garden in Cleveland Heights and then the rest of the day doing the same for neighbors.

Stephen was born on Mother's Day, May 11, 1941, in Gates Mills, Ohio, to Marian Ginn Jones and William Powell Jones. He graduated from University School (Cleveland, Ohio), earned a BA at Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.), and a master's in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He worked as a teacher at the Park School of Buffalo, as teacher, coach and head of the Shaker Heights campus of University School, as headmaster of Renbrook School (Hartford, Conn.), and as headmaster of Elisabeth Morrow School (Englewood, N.J.), jobs in which he was a mentor to hundreds of teachers and a compassionate advocate for all his students, especially those who were struggling.

During the Viet Nam war he served in the U.S. Army Reserves. A consummate facilitator and team-builder, he was founding Board President of the Cleveland Children's Museum and served his communities through board service for the Cleveland Institute of Music, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, Homeward Bound of WNC, Asheville Greenways Commission, Mountain BizWorks, Asheville GreenWorks, and the Western North Carolina Historical Association.

He is survived by his beloved wife of fifty years, Suzanne Ringler Jones; three sons, Andrew Jones (Asheville); Cador Pricejones (Somerville, Mass.), married to Margaret Pricejones; Nathan Jones (San Jose, Calif.), married to Elena Jones; seven grandchildren: Annabelle and Cador Jones; Esmay and Powell Pricejones; Natalia, Isabella, and Danica Jones; his brothers, Peter H. (Hal) Jones (Lake Bluff, Ill.); Christopher Jones (Kimberton, Pa.), married to Leslie Wright Jones; and Nicholas Jones (Oberlin, Ohio), married to Sue Copeland Jones; foster daughter Christine Wheatley (North Ridgeville, Ohio); and many nieces and nephews.

His memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, officiated by Reverend Mark Ward, on January 30, 2015, at 3:00 p.m.

Donations in his honor may be made to Campaign for Southern Equality, Homeward Bound of WNC, or the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Asheville Citizen-Times from Jan. 11 to Jan. 13, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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41 entries
January 5, 2020
It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years since Steven left us. His memory is still alive and cherished by those of us who loved him.
Ken Brame
January 23, 2015
We meet lots of people throughout our lives, but only a few who make a real difference. Stephen was one of those. He was an inspiration and a friend, a joy to be with and a delight to listen to. He will always be a fond memory of the special times that seemed to happen when he was around.
John Sterling
January 21, 2015
I worked with Stephen on the WNCHA Board for several years. He was unfailingly positive and enthusiastic about whatever we were working on. Over the years since then Stephen and I kept in touch and it was always such a nice surprise to see him and catch up on who he was helping. I will miss his smiling face.
Kevin Westmoreland
January 20, 2015
Suzy and Stephen visited us in New Mexico during the winter of 2013, and they showed us Asheville in September 2014. We have been friends since we met in Buffalo in 1966. Stephen always treated us with respect and accepted us for who we really are. We miss him dearly.
Omar and Sue DeWitt
January 18, 2015
Stephen always had a kind word, a ready smile, and cared deeply about the environment, his community, friends and family. He was courageous in every challenge. He is and was loved. A life well lived albeit too short. Stephen was a teacher to the very end. I learned so much from him and miss him.
Rich Wasch
January 18, 2015
At the park walking the dogs. I heard above the trees a loud caw sound .
I can't remember the last time i have ever heard such a loud bird sound.
Maybe it was uncle Stephen coming back as a bird,
or sending out a signal to me that he is now safe and sound, pain free living in heaven. I felt his presence that day. &
almost everyday. .
Stephanie R
January 18, 2015
Christine Wheatley
January 18, 2015
I knew Stephen through the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, but was unaware of his many accomplishments. My sympathies to his family. He was a fine man.
January 17, 2015
Stephen forever remains a role model for civic engagement. I believe blades of grass were adorned with a bit extra dew the morning of Stephen's passing. I'm a better man for knowing him. We're all better because of Stephen.
Chuck Fink
January 17, 2015
A remarkable man and a true friend. Loved and admired by many of us. We are all better for having had the opportunity to know him. His passing leaves a big hole in my heart.
Ken Brame
January 15, 2015
Stephen hired me at Renbrook School. It was almost thirty years ago, but I still clearly remember how welcoming and kind he was. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
Barbara Greenleaf
January 14, 2015
Dear Susie and family:

Was so sorry to hear of Stephen's passing. I always enjoyed working with him when he was with the Western North Carolina Historical Association. He brought leadership at a time we sorely needed it. May God give you comfort and peace.

Ron and Kathy Holland
January 14, 2015
So sorry to hear of Stephen's passing. He was a good friend to me at U.S. and later at Renbrook, and I respected his wisdom and guidance. Please accept our condolences.

Fondly, Jim and Chris Ladd
January 14, 2015
On hearing of the unfortunate passing of Mr. Stephen Jones, a great number of fond childhood memories came flashing back to me. How vivid the pictures of me and his three boys sharing endless hours exploring the world together as young boys. I recall long summer days visiting the Jones farmland, carpools to soccer practice, and of course his caring paternal influence as educator and leader of our school.

Thank you Stephen for who you were, and for us still are - in all of our memories.
Stewart Pinkerton
January 13, 2015
So sorry to hear of Stephen's passing! He was one of the first people I met at UUCA and I was amazed at his enthusiasm and very appreciative of his support of the LGBTQ community. There are stars everywhere. His star was just a little brighter than most!
Elizabeth Thompson
January 13, 2015
Suzanne and all the family,
Our thoughts are with you as you face the world without this very special man.
Elizabeth and Stewart Spragins
elizabeth spragins
January 13, 2015
Very sorry to hear of Stephen's passing!
Marti Weinstein
January 13, 2015
Suzanne, I remember meeting Stephen when I first arrived at Renbrook School many years ago. I remember him as a warm and caring person. So sorry for your loss.
Lynn Newman
January 13, 2015
God bless you and your family, Suzy.
Pete and Jane Jones
Jane Jones
January 12, 2015
Dear Suzie,
So sorry your to hear about your great loss. May the memories you hold continue to bring you comfort. I enjoyed reading about Stephen and his beautiful commitment to helping others. He will be remembered by all those he touched.
Sending you warm regards and a hug.
Norma Bradley
January 12, 2015
I became friends with Stephen while serving along side him on the board of Asheville GreenWorks. He was a fine, gentle, kind man who always saw the best in people, and always brought out the best in people. He inspired me to be a better environmentalist. I was deeply moved by his courage in facing his illness. I'll miss him.
Mike Kenton
January 12, 2015
We're very sorry for your loss. May you be comforted by your friends and family during this time .
Larry & Marsha Freudenberg
January 12, 2015

All my sympathies

Kim Barnes
Kimball Barnes
January 12, 2015
Dear Jones Family,
I was saddened to learn about Steve's passing. When I began teaching at University School in 1973, he was Director of Admissions at the Shaker Campus. He used to bring applicants and parents to my fourth grade classroom. Later, when he was named Director of the Lower School, I worked for him! He was a caring and kind man, and he will always be a part of the wonderful memories I have of US. I am so sorry for your loss, and please know that you will be remembered in my prayers.
Nancy (Schultz) Nadin
January 12, 2015
Am sorry to hear of Stephen's passing. He was a wonderful model for my early teaching and I would like to say a very good friend, in spite of distance and time apart. He met the world with a smile and open arms, always deeply interested in others, what we were doing, what we thought about things. He was the best of teachers, the best of men. I feel a great loss today. I'll miss Stephen's spark which inspired all of us who knew him.
Dan FIshwick
January 12, 2015
I am so glad that I had an opportunity to know Stephen. I'm very fortunate life brought him and his family to Cleveland Heights and US. I've got many fond memories of time at US and the Lamberton house. I send me love to Suzanne, Andrew, Cador Nathan and the rest of the family.
Chip Bartlett
January 12, 2015
Stephen was extremely special to me. I have missed him since he left Elisabeth Morrow and I will always remember him.
Sanda Cohen
January 12, 2015
May the God of all comfort strengthen the entire family during this time of sorrow. Those who die God keeps in his memory because they are precious in his eyes. (Psalms 116:15) My sincerest sympathy.
January 11, 2015
I know you only through Nathan. Love has exuded from him from the first time we met. I know all I need to know about you.
Anthony Malko
January 11, 2015
Giving great thanks for the wonderful person Steve was and that Ken and I had the opportunity to know him in the 70s in Cleveland and then to visit you again in Asheville.
Barbara Smith
January 11, 2015
Suzanne, Randy and I were saddened to read of Stephen's passing. We have so many fond memories of him at Art Museum functions and I felt so fortunate to work with him when I was on the board of Mountain BizWorks. He was such a wonderful asset to Asheville in so many ways. His bright smile, easy laughter and willingness to always pitch in will be long remembered and greatly missed.
Hedy Fischer
January 11, 2015
Stephen was a good man, and I was proud to call him a friend. He will be missed.
Randy Siegel
January 11, 2015
Your father always marked new beginnings for me. He and Suzy were the first people we met in Asheville. We figured everyone here shared his smile, optimism and enthusiasm. So we moved here. Then when I wanted to start a men's group he said, "Good idea, but not for me". We now have 12 groups and your dad asked to join about 2 and half years ago. He enriched so many lives, including mine.
Chuck Fink
January 11, 2015
Stephen was best man at our wedding in 1967 and he and Suzy were our closest friends in Buffalo, New York nearly 50 years ago. I saw them in Asheville about 4 years ago and love them both as much as ever. A great loss to everyone.
Becky Stannard
January 11, 2015
Susie and family, I'm out of the country and just happened to see this and am so shocked. I so enjoyed working with Stephen when he was a Mountain BizWorks when I first moved to Asheville. What a great guy! Will miss him.
Diane Amos
January 11, 2015
A wonderful memory spending time with you and Uncle Stephen at the Botanical Gardens in Phx.,Az.
Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you. Uncle Stephen will be greatly missed. I still can't believe he is no longer with us. His memory of love, & a great love for family, friends, boundless energy, & his zest for life and enjoyment. He will never be forgotten. I'm so sorry to hear this great loss. He no longer has to suffer, he is pain free. Hold on to those great memories of him that are full of joy, laughter, tears, and great moments. Love you and see you soon dear Aunt Suzy and the Jones family.
Stephanie Ringler
January 11, 2015
Stephen and family at his 50th anniversary celebrated this past summer (2014)
Stephen, my father, was a compassionate, enthusiastic and loving man; a dedicated husband, father and "More-daddy" (grandfather). He loved to read stories, play soccer, bake chocolate chip cookies, play card games and backgammon, bike and garden with his family.
Nathan Jones
January 11, 2015
Stephen and others walking to the proposed Beaucatcher Park in 2012
I got to know Stephen through the Greenways Commission and thought he was one of the nicest people I've ever met. He handled his diagnosis with openness and courage which was inspiring to me. I am so sorry for your loss and I will miss Stephen's warm smile.
Mary Weber
January 11, 2015
I had the great fortune to serve on the Asheville GreenWorks board with Stephen. His passion, consideration, and dedication to having a lasting positive impact on our community was - and is- inspiring. I'll miss his beaming smile, his candor, and that lovely lilting laugh of his. Big hugs and warm thoughts to you all.
Kendra Penland
January 11, 2015
I knew Mr. Jones when he was a member of Biltmore Forest Country Club.I saw him often when he would come out and play with the 10:00 group on Sat.He was a wonderful man, always smiling.
Everyone loved him.
January 11, 2015
Susie and family,
So sad to hear of your loss. I know you will always have special and beautiful memories to hold in your heart forever. Wishing you peace, love and light during this time. Lynn and Steve Forbes
Lynn and Steve Forbes
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