Thomas Allen Jones Jr., fondly known as T.A. or Taz, passed away Nov. 8, 2017 at the age of 84.
He was born Aug. 17, 1933 in Richmond, Virginia, to Thomas and Virginia Jones. He was a graduate of John Marshall High School in Richmond. He was an outstanding athlete in both football and track, receiving scholarship offers to several colleges. As halfback for the Justices, he was known as “Ground-Eating Jones” and in track, he was known for the quarter mile and hurdles.
From there he attended Randolph-Macon College, and then served in the U.S. Navy. When he returned from overseas, Mr. Jones enjoyed a long career with Bell Atlantic Telephone Company (now Verizon) in Richmond, and was a member/volunteer with the Telephone Pioneers.
He made his home in Hanover County, where he tended a large garden, including Hanover tomatoes that he generously shared with family and friends. In the summer months, he spent most of his free time on Ingram’s Bay in the Northern Neck. Mr. Jones loved being on the water, and he was an avid, knowledgeable fisherman and enjoyed sharing his catch. He was also an experienced downhill skier. In winter months, his lifelong athletic ability took him downhill skiing abroad, and in the Midwest, well into his 70s.
When he retired, he chose to live in Mathews County to be near his grandsons whom he dearly loved, and together they created special memories that will last a lifetime.
He was a big believer in passing on family traditions. Every year he guided the family through the tradition of making the Jones’s Homemade Ketchup. He also lent his culinary critique concerning the annual Christmas fruitcake, among others. An event that became tradition for a few years, and one of his great joys, was taking friends and family on his boat to view the annual fireworks off Gwynn’s Island.
There was an ever-present feeling of nature in his home, as he loved feeding a menagerie of SQUIRRELS and birds—not just the birds. He enjoyed feeding them all and observing their antics. Everyone visiting his home would witness the activity of the squirrels, woodpeckers, songbirds, etc., as one looked out his glass doors. He had a caring respect for all living creatures.
He will also be remembered for his generosity to those in need. Mr. Jones was a quiet giver, giving to individuals he felt needed a helping hand.
He is survived by his daughter, Bonnie Ellen and her husband Bill of Mathews County; two grandchildren, William Bruce Ellen Jr. of Richmond, and Thomas Ryan Ellen of Richmond. He will also be missed by many friends and family members who were blessed to be a part of his life.
Memorial services will be determined at a later date.
The family wishes to say a special thanks to Anita Jenkins, his longtime caregiver, special friends, Ashley and Dillion, and to the staff at Riverside Hospice for their commitment of care, and all their kindnesses shown.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society in Gloucester, Va., and Feed More in Richmond.
Faulkner Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Foster-Faulkner Chapel, Mathews, assisted the family.