MADISON-A. W. "Art" Jones passed away on December 14, 2013, in Madison.
He was born in Sturgis, S.D. on July 23, 1921, the son of Albert Earl Jones and Florence Bower Jones, who were homesteaders in the Stoneville area of Meade County. He was strongly influenced by his father's resourcefulness and his mother's optimism. Art started at a one-room schoolhouse in Stoneville and graduated from Newell High School. He served three and a half years in the armed forces during WWII, returning home in November 1945.
Art attended the National College of Business in Rapid City and the UW Madison Graduate School of Banking. He liked to say he started his banking career as the third man in a two-man bank. He began as a bookkeeper at the Newell office of the First National Bank, later managed the Belle Fourche office and was instrumental in starting the Tri-State National Bank (now Western National Bank), where he served as president.
Always active in civic affairs, Art was elected mayor of Newell, S.D. and worked closely with Senator Jim Abdnor for many years on the rehabilitation of Orman Dam. He was honored to have Jones Park in Belle Fourche named after him for his work in the early 1960's establishing the site, then planting and watering the grass from a single spigot.
Dora Jones was a customer at the bank in Newell when she and Art met. They were married near Dora's home town of McIntyre, Pa., in 1951 and spent 47 years together living in Newell, Belle Fourche and Spearfish. Art was preceded in death by Dora; his son, Albert; and his sister, Betty Mohlenhoff.
He had an innate ability to put others at ease and relished making connections wherever he went. He and Dora traveled widely and spent months visiting their grandchildren. His favorite spot remained the Spearfish Canyon cabin he purchased in 1949 where he enjoyed many peaceful hours, constantly in motion.
Survivors include his second wife, Ruth (Velder) Jones of O'Neill, Neb.; his daughter, Yvette Jones (John) Lombardo of Madison; and Alan W. (Jacque) Jones of Kodiak, Alaska; beloved grandchildren, Lisa and Cara Lombardo, Alex (Katreen Wikstrem) Jones, and Addie Jones.
Art served as a role model with his clear-headed ethics, unfailing kindness and well-considered priorities.
A memorial fund has been established to benefit Jones Park and Spearfish Canyon Foundation. A private service will be held in Sturgis on Friday, December 20, 2013 and a memorial service at Art's cabin is planned for next summer.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Dr.