Ernest "Ernie" Raymond Jones
Ernest "Ernie" Raymond Jones, 64, of Lynnville, passed away Wednesday, October 21, 2015 while inspecting a tower in Oklahoma City, OK. He was born November 5, 1950, in Evansville, to the late Raymond E. and June B. (Beldon) Jones.
Ernie attended Rose-Hulman Institute for Engineering. He also attended The University of Evansville. Ernie received his BSME from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1973. He was a member of the Lamda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He was inducted into the Rose-Hulman Track and Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ernie was a structural engineer. He worked in the broadcast tower industry for 30 years. Ernie was a Professional Engineer and President of Consolidated Engineering, Inc. in Lynnville. Ernie was Vice-President of Structural Engineering at Electronics Research, Inc. for 25 years.
Ernie's first wife, Christa, passed away in 2004. In 2006, Ernie met Kathy. They both had a love for horses and quickly had a love for each other. Kathy and Ernie began working on their blended families. They married in 2009. Ernie believed the Lord sent Kathy for him and his kids. They began building a new life together.
Ernie married Kathy Jones on February 2, 2009 on Ground Hog's Day. Kathy picked this date, so it would be easy for Ernie to remember their anniversary. Some years this worked. Last year, Ernie was traveling and heard it was Ground Hog's day. He immediately stopped his travels and called. This was typical Ernie.
Ernie was a prince and the most wonderful friend a person could ever have. He was a humble man, a smart man, a servant to others, a man that could never say no, a man that treated others so well that no words can describe. Ernie's wife, Kathy, said "I, like so many others, can never say enough good things about him! There is simply no way to ever replace this wonderful human being….husband, daddy, papa and pops."
The Jones family bought 100+ acres of land in Lynnville, IN in 2011. Ernie and Kathy formed a ranch called The Circle J/S Ranch. Whatever Ernie did in life, he did 110%. Kathy and Ernie decided to raise grass finished Omega-3 beef. Ernie's passion for the perfect product was unwavering. He studied books, attended seminars and searched the Internet. Of course, he got the job done. Ernie had his grass finished beef tested at Kansas University in 2010. The results were outstanding. Kathy and Ernie had created the perfect combination of Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio in their beef. Recently, Ernie and Kathy changed the name of their ranch to The Triple J Ranch. Named for Ernie Jones, Kathy Jones and their daughter, Angel Jones, whom they adopted after the death of Ernie's daughter, Katie. Working the ranch was a labor of love for Ernie and his family.
As the news spread of Ernie's death, tributes began pouring in from all over the United States. Senior Vice President of MUTI said, "Our industry and society lost today one of the great men we have been so fortunate to know. He was a gentleman and always willing to help others learn."
"He was a dedicated, tireless worker for the tower industry, probably unmatched by anyone else of whom I know. He was a soft-spoken man with a gentle approach to others and rigorous approach to his work," said professional engineer Simon Weisman who knew him when he started working with Ernie on TIA-222-D in the mid 1980's.
Brent Hensley, president and general manager of the Hearst Television ABC affiliate, who owned the tower Ernie was inspecting said, "Obviously, we are saddened by his death and our thoughts and prayers go out to Ernie's family, friends and the people who knew him well, including our Hearst family."
Ernie had been a participating member of the TR-14.7 Committee of the Telecommunications Industry Association and Electronics Industry Association since 1986 where he assisted with writing and approving the ANSI-TIA/EIA 222 standard which is the American National Standard for steel Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures.
Ernie was responsible for developing the ANSI/TIA-109, 2004 Gin Pole Standard, titled "Structural Standards for Steel Gin Poles Used for the Installation of Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures." Ernie was a co-chairman of the technical section of this standard responsible in creating a full construction standard entitled "Standard for Installation, Alteration and Maintenance of Antenna Supporting Structures and Antennas (ANSI/TIA-1019A)."
Ernie was widely known in the industry, having designed and overseen fabrication for over 3,000 towers. These have included monopole structures, self-supporting lattice towers and guy towers; these structures ranged from 240 feet to 2,000 feet in height. He has also designed special erection systems and support structures for the wind turbine industry. Ernie designed the country's tallest self-supporting tower for McHenry County, Ill.
Ernie developed the ANSI 2004 Gin Pole Standard, entitled "Structural Standards for Steel Gin Poles Used for the Installation of Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures." Ernie was chairman for the technical section of this standard responsible in creating a full construction standard involving installation, alteration and maintenance of communication towers, antennas, and antenna supporting structures.
Ernie was an active member of the National Association of Tower Erectors and along with Don Doty, Pat More and Gordon Lyman was proactive in forming a gin pole summit in 2012 which would be used to outline some of the training parameters in the A10.48 standard.
As a guest speaker, Ernie has authored and/or presented numerous tower and antenna presentations since 2000.
Ernie had always been a strong and active safety advocate. Following the death of two of ERI's employees in 2011 when they were jumping a gin pole, his fervor for championing safety initiatives was well known by many friends and associates.
He is survived by his wife of six wonderful years, Kathy M. Jones; son Andrew; daughters, Karalyn and Angel; daughter by marriage, Megan (Leo); grandson, Michael; brothers, David (Teresa), Guy and Douglas (Dee) and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services will be 11:30 AM, Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at Alexander North Chapel, 4200 Stringtown Road, officiated by Pastor Randy Anderson, with entombment in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Friends may visit Monday from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Tuesday from 10:30 AM till service time at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to MADD Indiana Chapter, 9801 Fall Creek Road, Indianapolis, IN 46256. Condolences may be made online at AlexanderNorthChapel.com
Published by Courier Press on Oct. 25, 2015.