Obituary: Tom Jones

December 7, 1934 — January 23, 2024
Tom Jones
December 7, 1934 — January 23, 2024
Posted at 9:04 AM, Jan 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-29 11:05:28-05

Our beloved Tom Jones passed away peacefully and comfortably on January 23rd. Tom was born on December 7, 1934, in Minot, ND to Marion Jones. In his early years, the family moved to Lewistown, MT where he spent his formative years graduating from Fergus High School in 1952.

Even though he always had a job outside of school from the age of 12, Tom managed to become quite a sports phenom for Fergus High and American Legion Baseball. He excelled in baseball, basketball, track, but especially in football. He played in the Shrine Game earning honors as Outstanding Lineman for the game and was offered scholarships by many colleges. He became an Oregon State Beaver and had even played in the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA. Tom transferred to Montana State College his sophomore year and graduated from there adding the MSU Bobcats to his favorite teams. After a visit to the McCracken family farm in Ledger, he fell in love with his future wife, Rita.

Tom and Rita were married on November 24, 1956, at St. Michael Catholic Church in Conrad and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2016. They were headed for 63 years before Rita passed away in 2019.

Tom joined the Army and they traveled with the military in their early married years. After an honorable discharge from the Army, they eventually settled in Ledger on the family farm and ranch. It was there that they raised their five children, Deb, Clark, Paul, Ruth, and Mack and welcomed their children’s spouses, many grandchildren and great grandchildren into their fold. Tom was a member of BPOE (Elks), the Loyal Order of Moose, and served as school board trustee and clerk at Higgins School during this time.

Tom and Rita were the ultimate “minimalists” before that word became trendy. However, there was one exception to that – he always drove nice, new, well-maintained vehicles. Even though Tom cherished life on the farm and prairie, he was drawn to the beauty of Western MT. One activity that Tom completely enjoyed was taking a “Sunday Drive” with seven people crammed in the car. West of the mountains was a favorite destination of his and if it was July, Tom knew the best Flathead Cherry stand and the best huckleberry picking area.

In 1994, in retirement, Tom and Rita moved to Polson. He built by hand their life-long dream home on the east shore of Flathead Lake. They moved back to Ledger in 2016.

He is survived by his children and their spouses, Deb (Tom), Clark (Tammy), Paul (Cathy), Kim Hood (Ruth’s spouse), and Mack (Lori); grandchildren Tyler (Crystal), Gen (Jon), Sheridan (Tara), Cortni, Justin (Ariel), Dusty (Lyndee), Charmolita (Josh), Pablo (Lindsay), Katie, Philip (Darla), Taylor (Corissa), Jaynee, and Gavin and 15 great-grandchildren.

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Asper Funeral Homes website.