Kenai resident Vernard E. Jones died Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at home with his family by his side. He was 81.
A private family viewing will be held at Peninsula Memorial Chapel. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10046 in Soldotna, with a celebration of life following at 3 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Kenai.
Mr. Jones was born April 18, 1922, in Hillman Township, Mich. He went to high school and graduated with a scholarship to Henry Ford Trade School. He served in the U.S. Army Airborne in the European, African and Middle Eastern theaters with three bronze stars and a good conduct ribbon. He was a marksman and was honorably discharged.
He moved to Alaska in 1960 and lived in North Kenai, Kenai, Soldotna, Anchorage, Dillingham and Mount Village. He was self-employed as a Bush pilot, guide and commercial fisher. He always was willing to help a neighbor and enjoyed visiting with friends at the senior center and VFW. He also enjoyed teasing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He had nicknames for them all.
He met his future wife, Lenore, at a high school dance. They shared a love of flying in their Super Cub and enjoyed the remote Alaska wilderness with hunting, fishing, prospecting, guiding and living at their cabin at Lake Clark. Mr. Jones spent summers with his grandchildren at the cabin, taking them took them flying, fishing and mountain climbing.
"Vernard and I had wonderful life and shared many wilderness adventures," Lenore said.
"My father was an avid guitar and harmonica player and blessed us all with his music. He recorded a music tape of silly songs for each of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as my brother and myself. In one of his songs he sang about this 'great white wilderness with all of its glacier streams' and with that, I'd like to say he blessed all of his family and left us all with loving wonderfully treasured memories that will remain with us forever," his daughter, Lynn Miller, said.
Mr. Jones wrote and published two books about his wilderness adventures, "How I Became An Alaskan Bush Pilot" and "The Alaskan Loner."
Mr. Jones is survived by his wife, Lenore Jones; son, Vern "Skip" and Mirella Jones; daughter, Lynn M. Miller and her husband, Frank Miller; sisters, Arvada Cameron, Velma Sells; brothers, Jesse Jones, Cliffton Jones, Cleon Jones and Wyvern Jones; grandchildren, Perry and Jill Miller, Maria and Alan Goines, Kaylynn and Andy Pearse, Dawn and Pete Mysing, Sherri O'Brian, Michael D. Jones and Jesika Jones; great-grandchildren, Brianna Goines, Scotty Goines, Alanna Goines, Andrew Pearse, Ritalynn Pearse, Caleb Mysing, Trevor Mysing, Chenea Mysing, Jared Yamamoto, Kayla Yamamoto, Shannon O'Brian, Tiffany Decker, Jason Decker, Steffy Decker, Lacey Decker, Morgan Decker and Cheyenne Decker; and nieces and nephews, Geri Grimley, Shirley J. Schaffier, Bruce Cameron, Robert Triplett, Kenneth Triplett, David Jones, Clinton Jones, Sharon Jones, Mary Jones, Roger Jones, Linda Goassemm, Judy Smith, Beverely Smith, Clinton and Mattie Jones and Gary Jones.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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