A life-long educator and learner, Dick Jones was born May 11, 1933 in San Luis Obispo, California and died of a stroke on August 14, 2013 in Sacramento, California.
Dick is preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Myrna Jean White, and by his mother, father and brother. Dick is survived by daughters Kathryn Owens (Kyle) and Carolyn Vellutini (Frank) of Elk Grove, California and Susan Carcelli (Larry) of Ogden; grandchildren Dina Kimble (Darrin), Jacqueline Owens (Joel Kuiper), Richard Owens, Shannon Carcelli, Carla Albright (Evan), Daniel Owens, Lisa Carcelli, and Leo Vellutini III; and two great-grandchildren.
Dick was raised in Fresno, California and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1951. He earned baccalaureate and master's degrees at Stanford University and a doctorate in education from University of California, Berkeley. Dick played three sports in high school and at Stanford played football and rugby. He was a loyal Stanford alumnus, a member of the Buck Club, and an ardent fan of all Stanford athletics.
Dick and Myrna, who were high school sweethearts, were married in 1952. Their first home was in Stanford University's married student housing where they began their family. Dick started his teaching career in Hayward, California. After completing his doctorate, they moved to Turlock, California where he began his professorship at California State University, Stanislaus.
Dick's career as a professor and dean lead him to positions at Morehead State University in Minnesota; Weber State University; and Kent State University, Salem in Ohio. In addition, he accepted a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Nigeria in 1986, and in 2002 he traveled to Lesotho to help develop a teacher training program sponsored by the World Bank. He and Myrna retired to Prather, California in 1997 and volunteered in various organizations including the Court Appointed Child Advocates (CASA) program. After Myrna's death, Dick moved to Elk Grove, California to be closer to family.
Dick loved learning. He enjoyed reading fiction, nonfiction and read two newspapers every morning. He adored the give and take of intellectual conversation and the sharing of ideas. Family dinners were opportunities to discuss the issues of the day, explore ideas, and laugh. Dick listened to all kinds of music, played four instruments, and loved to sing. Dick was a life-long member of the Methodist Church and was always active in community service organizations. He deeply enjoyed the out-of-doors and was an avid golfer, camper, and fisherman throughout his life.
Dick was a warm, outgoing, gracious, and kind man. Family and friends will miss his curiosity, sense of humor, and passion for life.