James C. Jones
1941 - 2020
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In Memory of James C. Jones (Loving Father, Writer, Photographer, Environmental Activist, Engineer, Rocket Scientist, Fisherman, World traveler.) ANNOUNCEMENT: James Campbell Jones Lived in Fair Oaks, CA spent the last year and a half in Hood River, OR. After a long illness, with family by his side, Jim passed away Sunday August 9, 2020 in Hood River, OR. LIFE STORY: Jim was born in 1941, in Detroit Michigan, to Gerard Jones and Lorean Marinelle. He spent his childhood and teenage years in McHenry, Ill, spending as much time fishing as possible. Jim attended McHenry High School and was one of three graduates to receive a University of Illinois 4-year full tuition scholarship. He of course went on to receive his B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from U of I Chaplain-Urbana and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Davis. Jim married his high school sweetheart Hildegard Bock in Crystal Lake Illinois, and the pair moved to Rancho Cordova, CA where they started their family. Soon son Mike came along, and daughters Anita and Leslie shortly after that. As a rocket scientist and engineer at Aerojet for 40 years, Jim had a front row seat to the excitement of the space race, the giddy times after, and even the lower key years following. Even after "retiring" (he hated that word!), he continued on with Aerojet as a consultant, ensuring the dynamic structural integrity of Titan IV rockets. When he finally left Aerojet's sphere, Jim parlayed his considerable writing and photography talents into a second career as a travel writer, providing content for Outside Magazine, The Sacramento Bee, and weekly fishing and hunting publication Western Outdoor News, among others. He was a natural athlete and enjoyed many mid-life adventures from Scuba Diving around the world to crossing the Sierra Mountains Death Ride finish line on his Eddie Merckx. He loved music (had quite an eclectic taste), was a great dancer and had a knack for creating scrumptious treats in his kitchen (he was famous in our neighborhood for his smoked salmon and pumpkin cheesecake). One true through line in Jim's life was his passion and love of fishing and the outdoors. He fervently believed in protecting the environment in general and the American River in particular. Each of us owe him a debt of gratitude for his work with the Save The American River Association (SARA) and The American River Parkway Foundation, which he co-founded. His tireless and persuasive energy helped result in one of the Sacramento area's most treasured features, the American River Parkway. Jim is survived by son Michael (Marti) Jones and daughters Anita (Doug) Jones and Leslie (James) Jones, Grandchildren Kate (Casey) Herbert (Jones), Madeline (Adam) Elrod (Jones), Isabel Lira-Jones, and Daisy Jones, great-grandchild Caspian Elrod, sister Sandy (Howard) Fromson, and cousins Lucretia McDermott, Jason (Jay) Bernardi, and Vicky Crowder (Walter). Jim is predeceased by his mother, Lorean Redwanz (Marinelle), father, Gerard Jones, and stepfather Roy Redwanz. Jim will be missed by many. He was a true adventurer and river warrior and his spirit will continue to flow and support all who love and enjoy the American River Parkwaywalking over the Jim Jones Pedestrian Bridge, riding the bike trail and fishing it's waters. "The River is everywhere" Herman Hesse, Siddhartha MEMORIAL DETAILS: Due to COVID-19, the family will hold a very small, private memorial and postpone a larger memorial gathering until a later date. An announcement will be made then. The family welcomes donations to the Save The American River Association (SARA) as an expression of sympathy instead of flowers. https://www.sarariverwatch.org/donate Please also look for Jim's obituary and continued conversation, story and memory sharing at Legacy.com, The Sacramento Bee's online obituary and life stories website. The family looks forward to hearing from you there. https://www.legacy.com/ obituaries/sacbee/ You can also visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.

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Published in The Sacramento Bee on Aug. 23, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
August 27, 2020
Jim and Hildie were the first people to welcome us to the Sacramento area in Citrus Heights. They shared a 6 pac of cold beer which was so very welcome as no furniture had yet arrived for us. We had lots of comeraderie with these two and remember that Jim always won the hula hoop contest at our New Years party!! Yes he was very competitive. We only knew Mike as a toddler....I also worked at Aerojet. My condolences to his family and SARA., his legacy in the Sacramento area he loved so much.
Dolores
Friend
August 24, 2020
I was sorry to read of Jim’s death. I have great memories of sharing Aerojet days and the excitement of the Space Race! Jim was a good friend to Gerry and I. I suspect Jim and Gerry are scoping out the best hiking trails, rivers and fishing spots in heaven! My condolences to all of Jim’s family.
Jan Olson
Friend
August 24, 2020
I have wonderful memories of Aerojet days and the excitement of the “Space Race!” Jim was a good friend to Gerry and I. I suspect Jim and Gerry are checking out the trails, rivers and great fishing spots in heaven! Condolences to all of Jim’s family.
Jan Olson
Friend
August 23, 2020
Jim was a smart and innovative engineer, a great colleague, a wonderful friend... I very enjoyed working with him on Titan IV-Rocket Program at Aerojet in Sacramento. We’ll miss him.
Thinh Nguyentat
Coworker
August 23, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
hildie Kroeger
Friend
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