Ira G. JonesApril 17, 1932 ~ June 22, 2017 (age 85)
Ira Grover Jones: April 17, 1932 – June 22, 2017
The youngest of 5 children, Ira Jones was born in Danville, Illinois April 17, 1932 to Ira Grover Jones Sr and Mamie Alderson Jones. Raised and educated in Danville he then began what turned out to be a life long love and career with the railroad; joining the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Rail Road as a Machinist Apprentice.
One night while out cruising, a girl who was out on a date with another young man caught Ira’s eye. He asked her out and quickly fell in love. Barbara Ann Hardman became his partner for life September 30, 1950. Their daughter and only child Carol Sue Jones was born August 4, 1954.
During Ira’s apprenticeship to the Chicago and Eastern Illinois, he was temporarily furloughed. In order to provide for the family, Ira accepted a position with Otis Elevator; relocating the family to a beach front apartment in Jacksonville, Florida and reveling in life on the beach.
Ira’s career progressed through a series of positions of increasing responsibility with the railroad. In 1967 Ira was appointed Shop Foreman for Chicago and Eastern Illinois and when acquired by the Missouri Pacific Railroad accepted a promotion to Manager for their Air Brake Maintenance Facility in North Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1989 Ira’s expertise was recognized when elected President of the International Professional Association for Air Brake Technology and Safety Advancement.
Retiring at age 55 from the Union Pacific Railroad as System Manager for Brakes, Ira and Barbara rekindled their passion for time spent with friends and family on the water; spending much of their time at their vacation home in the woods on Greer’s Ferry Lake in Arkansas. Throughout the 1990’s their home, party barge and ski rig served as a place for family, family pets and friends to gather and enjoy life. Ira will be fondly remembered for educating grandson Chris in the intricacies of fishing and teaching granddaughter Lindan how to water ski.
Ira and Barbara moved to Melbourne, Florida in 2004 for phase 2 of their retirement. They became active in their sunday school class, the Empty Nesters; making good friends and lasting memories.
Ira dedicated his life to his family, church and community. He was a member of the Suntree United Methodist Church in Melbourne and a 32nd degree Mason and life time member of Olive Branch Lodge #38, the Shrine, Danville Consistory and a member of Elks Lodge #1004.
Ira is preceded in death by his brother Arnold E Jones and Sisters Irene Robinson, Maxine Robbins, and Annable Neel. He is survived by wife Barbara, daughter Carol (Kevin) and two grandchildren Lindan Lawson (Ben) and Christopher Brown.
A celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, July 1, 2017 at the Suntree United Methodist Church 7400 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, Florida with a reception to follow the service. In lieu flowers memorial contribution in Ira's name to the Alzheimer's Assoc. alz.org