GREAT FALLS — Former Great Falls police chief Bob Jones was honored Saturday morning by many people who knew him and what he did for Great Falls.
“Dad was a jokester. And he knew how to lead people without saying much. He wasn’t a yeller, but he knew how to correct you,” Casey said.
Saturday morning was filled with community and celebration to honor Chief Jones, who passed away on January 14.
Family and friends filled the Mansfield Theater to come together and remember a man who made a lasting impact on them and the city of Great Falls.
“He had a smile that was just contagious. Dad could light up a room with a sentence,” his son Doug said. “Last week, I met up with several of his friends and listened to their stories. All of which are just great to hear. My dad did a lot of great things, but he did them for a lot of great people.”
Many people say Chief Jones was a pillar of the community and that he touched many peoples’ lives. His sons all spoke about what he meant to them and how great of a man he was for them and the community.
Son Jeremy Jones is Great Falls Fire Rescue’s Fire Chief and talked about how he was raised and how dedicated his father was to his job and his community.
“We were raised to the standard that we were held accountable to all these fine men and women in blue. It was a high standard to live by. He did the right thing. Made us three boys that have great families,” Jeremy said.
He added that the community has given them an outpouring of support over the last week: “People we haven’t heard from in decades really knew that our dad really had an impact on this community. That was his mission, it was his pride, and he took it very seriously, but he had a lot of fun. You look around here today, and each one of us could make the impact my dad had on this community, this community would be a much better place.”
Jones joined the Montana Air National Guard during his senior year of high school, a career that spanned 32 years. He concluded his career as a major at the State Command Staff in Helena. He also worked for Neilson/Smith Construction on several infrastructure projects throughout the state of Montana.
He joined the Great Falls Police Department in March 1971. In 1986, Bob was promoted to Chief of Police where he served for 20 years.
Upon retiring from GFPD and MT ANG, he took a brief pause from public service and worked on the ranch that he started with his three sons. Bob ran for City Commission in 2009, where he served for the next 8 years.
The end of the video presentation gave a farewell to Bob, and a promise that the work he did will continue to be done.