Richard R. (Dick) Jones


(Aug. 20, 2008)

Richard R. (Dick) Jones, long-time resident of Powell and Cody, died Wednesday, Aug. 20 in the Powell Hospital following surgery. He was 97.

Dick was born Sept. 5, 1910, the third child of six children born to Alfred and Elsa Jones.  His early years were spent on the family homestead east of Billings on the Huntley Project. He graduated from Huntley Project High School in 1928.

Dick was very proud of his Swedish ancestry. Both of his parents emigrated from Sweden to the United States, became naturalized citizens and homesteaded on the Huntley Project in 1907. He visited Sweden on several occasions and formed close ties with relatives. He took all five of his grandchildren to visit their Swedish relatives.

As a young man, he worked for the railroad and delivered milk in Billings. Shortly thereafter, he started his first trucking company with a partner in Casper.  In 1932, he married his high school sweetheart, Estes “Jackie” Clarke. To this marriage, three children were born: Nancy, Alan and Tom. Estes passed away in 1984.  He married Evelyn Nelson in 1987.

In 1935, he purchased a one-truck freight company in Powell and established a trucking company that continues to operate today as Dick Jones Trucking.  He was active in the business at its Cody location until he returned to Powell in 2001.  He enjoyed working alongside his son, grandson and granddaughter in the family-run business.  After returning to Powell, he enjoyed daily visits to the office and continued these visits until a week prior to his death.

The lack of formal higher education never held him back. When an acquaintance told Dick that he was the luckiest man alive, he responded, “Yes, I am. The harder I work, the luckier I am.”

Dick served on the Powell Town Council and was Mayor of Powell.  In 1955, he was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives, and in 1957 he was elected to the Wyoming Senate and served until 1974 when he resigned and became a candidate for Governor of Wyoming.  He served as Senate President in 1967 and 1968.  While serving in the Legislature, he was appointed to the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education by Gov. Stan Hathaway.

He participated in the formation of Northwest Community College and served on the original board of trustees.  He was also instrumental in the formation of the Northwest Community College Foundation and served on the board of directors.

Survivors include his wife, Evelyn; daughter Nancy (Tom) Cook  of  Cody; son Alan (Alayne) Jones of Powell and son Tom (Barbara Costa) Jones of Cheyenne.  He is also survived by five grandchildren, Pam Ruehle, Rick Cook, Carol Zierk, LeAnne Kindred and Mitch Jones, and 10 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.  Other survivors are sister Ruby Snyder and sister-in-law Alma Jones, both of Huntley, Mont.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Bill and Bob Jones; and sisters Irene Hauf and Lois Weidinger.

Funeral services were conducted Monday, Aug. 25 at United Methodist Church of Cody, with burial in Riverside Cemetery, Cody.