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Story Last modified at 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thomas R. Jones

Dec. 15, 1927-Dec. 18, 2010

Thomas Reese Jones, 83, died in his sleep Dec. 18, 2010, in Homer. He died of natural causes.

Jones was born Dec. 15, 1927, to Thomas H. and Emma (Reese) Jones in Arlington, Wash. Although Jones' parents had lived in Alaska for a number of years, they spent the first few years of his life Outside with family before returning to make their home in Seward in the early 1930s.

Jones graduated from Seward High School in 1945 and spent two years in the U.S. Navy stationed at several locations around the United States. Upon his return, he married his first wife, Gloria June Woods, in 1948 and they became the parents of one son and two daughters, making Seward their home for the next 18 years. The family relocated to Anchorage after the 1964 earthquake where Jones worked first as a carpenter, then as a driver for SeaLand Freight from 1970 until the mid 1990s.

Jones met and married his second wife, Betty Jean "Tina" Jones, in 1970. Together they moved to Peters Creek, where they lived until Tina's death in 1997. They had planned to retire in Seldovia, and in 2003 Reese moved to the property they had bought for that purpose. He was in the process of finishing a new home on the property at the time of his death.

His friends and family say he will be remembered as a man who would always lend a helping hand, build a house, buy a cup of coffee and tell a pun. Over the years he enjoyed a number of hobbies such as cooking, reading, fishing, collecting model trains and socializing wherever he lived. He was famous for making friends with any dog he encountered, and in Seldovia he could often be seen getting sniffed by passing canines who knew he might have a treat in his pocket.

Jones is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Carol and James Carpenter of Palmer; daughter Patsyann Jones Coburn of Issaquah, Wash.; granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Jessica and Jesse Skaggs of Palmer; grandsons, Franklin Carpenter of Seldovia, Thomas Coburn of Issaquah, and Benjamin Jones Coburn of Issaquah; great-grandsons, Hunter and Tyler Skaggs of Palmer; and many cousins, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Tina Jones; former wife, June Woods King; son, Thomas Franklin Jones; stepson, Bradley Wooden; parents Thomas and Emma Jones; sister Carol Jones Breitenbach; and nephew Michael Breitenbach.

A memorial service will be held on his property in Seldovia on June 25. His ashes will be laid to rest at the Oddfellow's Cemetery in Seward. For information please contact Carol Carpenter at 8060 S. Ivanhoe St., Palmer AK, 99645; or Patsyann Jones Coburn at

Funeral arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 6, 2011.