SQUADRON LEADER DAVID G. JONES FBIM, FINucE, RAF Regiment (Ret’d)
31 May, 1932 – 21 May, 2015
A few days before his 83rd birthday, on a brilliant shining day, beneath a bright blue sky and a hot sun, David Gilbert Jones died suddenly as the result of an accident at the Vernon Yacht Club. He was doing what he loved, on the lake that he loved–pottering around on his sailboat, Davy Jones’s Rocker.
His loving wife Jo, his cherished and respected sons Adam and Craig, his beloved daughter-in-law Amanda and treasured grandchildren Daniel and Sadie celebrate David’s life–a life of action and service in full measure to his country and to his community.
Born in the UK, David grew up in Surrey, and completed his National Service in the Secretarial Branch of the Royal Air Force. After a year of reflection and travel, he decided to enlist, took a commission, and served 20 years in the RAF Regiment, specializing in airfield defense & fire-fighting, and in nuclear, chemical & biological ground defense. As a Squadron Leader, his final 2-year posting in 1969 was as an exchange officer with Canadian Forces in Ottawa.
While there, David and Jo decided to immigrate to Canada, so David took early retirement from the RAF, and in 1971 they brought their family to Vernon, B.C. Once here, they began putting down roots, and David became a respected commercial realtor and Chartered Arbitrator. He put his organizational skills to good use, becoming President/Chair/Director/Member of a large number of local and regional organizations.
He donated thousands of hours to groups such as the Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon & District Arts Council, Social Planning Council, OUC Advisory Committee, Performing Arts Centre Board, Radiological Defence System, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, Theatre BC, Okanagan Symphony Choir, Sewage Reduction Task Force, Water Conservation Committee, City Tax Exemption Committee, Abbeyfield House, United Way and Kalamalka Rotary Club. He was also an alderman of the City, a newspaper columnist, and for many years manager of the old Medical Clinic. He was awarded the Eva C. Innes Award (Canadian Arbitration Institute), the Eric Hamber Trophy (Theatre B.C.) and Rotary’s Paul Harris Medal (for his work on the establishment of a children’s orphanage in Cabo San Lucas). He was also working towards a Bachelor’s Degree through Open Learning.
The Powerhouse Theatre was his greatest joy, and he loved making people laugh as he took on many comic roles there. He worked physically hard on many projects, and through the years supervised three major renovations of the Theatre building. He was above all a man of initiative and action.
After undergoing two cardiac quadruple bypass surgeries in 12 hours in 2006, David’s health remained precarious, but he refused to give in to the many physical challenges he faced; he was determined to “carry on” as usual. He was a doer—he hated being without a project—whether it dealt with something new, or with something old that he could mend and make new. His most recent “job” was as handyman at Abbeyfield House, and he was working diligently on a project there to improve communication between Abbeyfield and Vernon Restholm.
Cremation has taken place, and David’s ashes will be scattered around the signpost at the David Jones Lookout above Ewing’s Landing. A Celebration of the life and work of this remarkable man will be held at the Powerhouse Theatre at 2pm on Sunday, June 14th.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”