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Arminta Jones

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Arminta Jones Obituary
Arminta Jones

(October 17, 1922-October 23, 2012)

Arminta Jones of Rogersville, Missouri and the mother of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, October 23rd, in Dallas. Mrs. Jones celebrated her 90th birthday in Dallas last week with her entire family.

Arminta Pearl Clark Jones was born on October 17, 1922 in Ozan, Arkansas. She married J.W. "Pat" Jones on October 25, 1941 and they had two children, Jerry (born in 1942) and Jacquelyn (1945). The couple was married for 56 years prior to Pat Jones' death at the age of 77 on November 26, 1997.

As the wife and lifelong partner to Arkansas and Missouri entrepreneur Pat Jones, Arminta was also very involved with many aspects of the various family business ventures.

"My father was an innovator in business, someone who changed the way industries were run in three different fields—the grocery business, insurance, and tourism," said Jerry Jones who has owned the Dallas Cowboys since 1989. "Mother was his partner, a bookkeeper, a manager, sales person, and she was every bit his equal in all of their success. Their relationship was a team thing. Their board room was the kitchen table for our family, and I was fortunate to be able to listen and learn from both of them."

The Jones family moved from Little Rock to Springfield in 1960 while Pat Jones was building the Modern Security Life Insurance Company into a multimillion dollar enterprise. Over the course of the next few years, the family acquired approximately 5,500 acres that became known as the Buena Vista Ranch located just east of Springfield.

By 1971, Pat and Arminta Jones developed 400 acres of the ranch into the Buena Vista Animal Paradise in Webster County which became home to hundreds of exotic wild animals and one of the top tourist destinations in Southwest Missouri. The animal park included llamas, buffalo, elk, sheep, geese, peacocks, assorted deer and mountain goats. While operating the Animal Paradise from 1971 to 1995, the Joneses became one of the region's strongest supporters of tourism and ambassadors for the State of Missouri.

Following Pat Jones' death in 1997, Arminta continued to maintain a visible and supportive presence in the community by creating the Pat Jones Memorial Park on Buena Vista Ranch land that was acquired in the 1970's. For the past decade and a half, she has been the annual host to as many as 40 charitable fundraisers, festivals and community events at the memorial park that bears the name of her husband.

Her generosity and love of Southwest Missouri was evident throughout all of her years as a devoted resident. She was a major donor for the Springfield YMCA that is named in her husband's honor, while also taking active roles with the Seminole Baptist Church, the Pleasant Panther Club, the Shiloh Cemetery Committee, the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and as a volunteer at Cox Hospital in Springfield.

"Her instincts and personality were her greatest gifts," said her son Jerry Jones who recently celebrated his 70th birthday with his mother in Dallas. "She always knew the right thing to do, and she always had a smile on her face. As a mother, she was strong in the tough times and could be tough in the good times. She always put the family first and taught us all the importance of involving everyone in everything, whether it be sports, business or school. I don't know anyone who loved people any more than my mother."

" She also loved her Dallas Cowboys. She had a wonderful life."

Arminta Jones was survived by her two children (Jerry and Jacque), a beloved daughter-in-law (Gene Jones), a brother (Dolph Clark, Jr.) and two sisters (Yvonne Clark Woodfin and Christine Clark Sleeker), four grandchildren (Stephen Jones, Charlotte Anderson, Jerry Jones, Jr. and Jerry Mooty) and 11 great grandchildren.

A 2:00 p.m. memorial service will be held for Arminta Jones on Friday, October 26th at the Buena Vista Ranch in Rogersville, Missouri under the direction of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home.

Published in the News-Leader on Oct. 25, 2012
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