February 24, 1915 - August 11, 2015
Henry Franklin Jones was born February 24, 1915 on a farm in the Ozark's town of Graff, Missouri to Walter and Zylpha Jones. Upon returning from World War I, Walter moved his family to the oil boom towns of north Texas where he found work as a roughneck. Henry (Hank) and his younger brother, Bernard (JoJo), spent their formative years in a tent, with its thin canvas walls separating them from the chaos outside. This hardscrabble existence claimed the life of his mother when Henry was 9 and precipitated an intervention by his paternal grandmother, Mary Alice. Mary Alice assumed care for the brothers and moved them to Prescott Arizona which proved a rich environment for a boy. Hank played "gun fights" with actor Tom Mix between takes on his Western movie set; delivered groceries to actress Faye Wray and real-life western persona "Big Nose " Kate Horoney; and had burro races through the foothills. These experiences served as inspiration for many of Hank's finely crafted stories as well as cementing in him a love for western movies and an abiding bond with his brother, JoJo. In 1929, Walter met and married a waitress, Laura, in Jerome Arizona. He then regained custody of his boys and moved them to Phoenix where he worked as a carpenter. Laura proved a very positive influence in Hank's life, helping him catch up on delays in his education caused by impoverished years in Texas. School was always a struggle but fortunately Hank was a good athlete. In his senior year, 1935, Hank lead Phoenix Union High School (PUHS) to a southwestern championship in basketball. This also provided a basketball scholarship to Arizona State University where he graduated in 1939 with a BA in Education. 1939 was an eventful year. Hank married Marjorie Clapp, his college sweetheart, and took his first job in education at Cashion - teaching 6th grade and shop; driving the school bus; coaching; and acting as scoutmaster. He moved on to teaching positions at Tolleson and Murphy Elementary Schools. In 1941, Gary, his first son was born, followed by Randy in 1946. That same year, the couple divorced. Ten years later, 1949, was also eventful. Hank completed his master's degree and moved from teaching elementary to high school (PUHS). He also married Catherine Thurman, a teacher he met in graduate school, who would become the love of his life. In 1950, Gregory was born, followed by Karen Sue in 1954. In 1955, Hank moved into administration as Dean of Boys at PUHS. From there he advanced to Associate Principal of Central High School and later to Carl Hayden High School. In 1977, after 40 years in education, Hank retired to a condo in Pacific Beach, California. His retirement years were blissfully divided between summers in California and winters in Arizona. He kept an active life playing tennis and handball with a large network of old and new friends. He was also active in the lives of his adult children and extended family, often coming to their rescue with his tool box and tape measure. Summers at the condo were especially important because of his close ties to his in-laws, Barb and Carlos Contreras, and his elder sons residing in California. But his one constant was his wife, Catherine. After 60 years of marriage, she preceded him in death, a loss from which he never quite recovered. His final years were difficult and he depended on the care of his daughter Karen, and later his son, Greg. He passed at dawn on August 11, 2015, calling to his beloved Catherine. Hank's life was marked by his dedication to education and coaching. His early years of adversity gave him a sensitivity for the plight of students who struggled and he was always willing to go the extra mile for the students who wanted to better themselves. He was also a consummate craftsman who lived by the carpenter's code "measure twice, cut once" - leading to an obsession for detail that annoyed everyone who experienced it. He never forgot his humble origins and often used them to construct stories of great wit and humility. He came a long way by working hard and providing for his family's future. In these qualities, he serves as a model for us all. Hank is survived by his children and their spouses: Gary and Linda Jones; Randy Myers; Greg and Scottie Jones; Karen and Tim Adams. By his grandchildren: Kerri and Daniel; Randy Jr.; Caitlin and Emery; Channon and Jaime. And by six great-grandchildren.
Henry Franklin Jones was born February 24, 1915 on a farm in the Ozark's town of Graff, Missouri to Walter and Zylpha Jones. Upon returning from World War I, Walter moved his family to the oil boom towns of north Texas where he found work as... View Obituary & Service Information
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