William W. Jones


(Nov. 13, 2006)

William Warren (Bill) Jones died suddenly Sunday, Nov. 13 in Billings, Mont. He was 85.

A memorial service will be held at the Union Presbyterian Church in Powell Friday, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m.

He was born in Excelsior, Minn., on June 24, 1921, third child of Warren William and Candace Jones. He grew up in Waubay and Webster, S.D., and graduated from Webster High School in 1939. He was employed by Northwest Public Service as a lineman/electrician and later became a meter reader.

He married F. Genevieve (Gensy) Nylander in 1944 and moved to Watertown, S.D., where he was employed as an electrician for that city. They and their four children moved to Wyoming and located in Midwest in 1953, where he was employed by Stanolind Oil and Gas Company. The family was transferred to Powell in 1958 where he worked at Amoco’s Elk Basin gas/sulfur plant. Bill retired after 26 years with Amoco, and he and Gensy resided in Powell until their move to Billings in April 2006.

Bill, as he was affectionately known to his relatives and many friends, was a long-term (46-year) member of the Union Presbyterian Church in Powell, where he was active in most church activities including leadership roles and especially choir. He participated fully in the Powell Eagles Aerie #2426 as both an officer and a member. He was a past president of the Powell Senior Citizens Board, was Wyoming State Director of AARP for a number of years, and served in the State Gray-Haired Legislature. He and Gensy were involved in many other community and civic activities, especially the Powell Senior Center Kitchen Band.

Bill loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman, boater, horseshoe pitcher; he enjoyed camping (his campfires were legendary), exploring and picnics. He was on a Powell league bowling team and even wrote a bowling column (“Bowling Banter”) for the Powell Tribune. He also participated in many state and national bowling tournaments and served as a local and state official.

He loved a rousing game of pinochle, was a formidable backgammon and cribbage opponent, and over the course of 20 years, played Gensy to a near draw in over 4,000 games of Scrabble. Music was a significant part of his life from his background as a baritone horn player in high school to a valve trombonist later in life. He enjoyed all kinds of music including opera, classical, Sousa marching band, and easy listening. Bill and Gensy have the only two lifetime passes to the Red Lodge Music Festival, which they attended annually since 1978. His appreciation for music was a gift to his children, despite an obsession for the Lawrence Welk Show. He had a passion for proper grammar and language and delighted in finding and correcting errors in the written and spoken word. His curiosity about the world around him never ceased and hopefully, he will now know where Atlantis is.

Bill had a quick wit, an irrepressible sense of humor, and an infectious laugh. He was an inveterate storyteller and enjoyed being on either the receiving or giving end of a practical joke. He seldom missed an appointment, meeting, or rehearsal and had a real sense of duty to his family, friends, church, and organizations. He was loyal to his friends, many of whom became life long. His integrity and principles were reflected in his everyday life and he was honest with everyone. He was a compassionate and caring husband, a loving and wise father, honorable in his personal and work ethics, and the best friend anyone could ever have.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Laurence and Russell; sister Dorothy; and Warren William, Bill and Gensy’s second son.

He is survived by Gensy, his loving wife of 62 years; daughter Kathleen Patricia Jones of Billings; daughter Beverly Beth and son-in-law Brian Alan Thorn of Billings; and son Richard Warren Jones of Laramie. Other relatives include aunts, uncles, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and cousins.

Memorials may be sent to Red Lodge Music Camp Scholarship Fund in care of Eloise Kirk, 3206 Green Terrace Drive, Billings, MT 59102, or a charity of one’s choice.