John L. Jones

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John L. Jones, 92, died Sunday, May 27, at his home in Prairie du Chien.

John was born Aug. 5, 1925, in Hannibal, to William C. and Alta (Lemke) Jones. He attended several schools around Wisconsin, and graduated from Wauzeka High School. 

John served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946. During WWII, he served as a tank driver in central Europe and the occupation of Germany. John married Viola Ready on Nov. 22, 1949, and they had six children. 

He worked as a logger and lumber inspector for the same company—Hutchison Log & Lumber Company, purchased by Erickson Hardwoods, then by Weyerhaeuser Company—until he retired. In retirement he worked for Nelson Lumber, which had purchased Weyerhaeuser.

John was known for riding his bicycle, in later years picking up aluminum cans for recycling. He played just about anything with strings including guitar, violin and banjo, piano, accordion and harmonica. He was a wood carver, making wooden chains, parts for musical instruments, gun stocks and fixing things made of wood. He enjoyed flea markets and auction sales with Viola. He liked reading, old cars and watching trains go by. He had a soft spot for turtles, toads and frogs, stopping to help turtles cross the road. 

In winter he chopped wood, went ice skating, played board and card games or put puzzles together with his children. In spring and summer he helped make hay, hiked the hills, and collected watercress at Viola’s family farm, “Plum Creek.” He played softball when another team member was needed in neighborhood games. He was a gentle and quiet man, soft-spoken and liked a peaceful, simple life. He was riding his bicycle days before his death, and said though he may be old, when he jumped on his bike he “felt like a kid again.”

John is survived by his six children David Jones, of Yuma, Ariz., Paul Jones, of Prairie du Chien, Lawrence Jones, of Prairie du Chien, Jennifer (Don) McCumber, of Madison, Sally (David) Rose, of Frost, W.V., and Crystal Jones, of Madison; grandchildren Samuel Rose, David Rose, Joseph Rose and Caroline Rose; step grandchildren Tony (Heather) McCumber, Leia (Stephen) Crowe and Ami (Reese) McKenna; step great-grandchild, Autumn McCumber; and a sister-in-law, Dolores Oswald.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Viola; his parents; and his sisters Ruth Pinkert, Beulah Mae Hazen and Marjorie (Peggy) Chunat.

A memorial service led by Pastor Andy Doll will be held on Saturday, June 23, at 11 a.m., at the Bible Baptist Church, 1110 North Marquette Road, Prairie du Chien, with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of services. Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Prairie du Chien, is helping the family with arrangements.


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