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Richard "Dick" Jones Jr. '55 February 4, 2019 10:09 AM updated: February 4, 2019 10:12 AM

Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 3, 2019

Richard L. Jones Jr.(1933 - 2019)
Richard L. "Dick" Jones, Jr.
Richard L. "Dick" Jones, Jr. was born December 23, 1933 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was the first of two sons of parents Richard and Florence Tinsley Jones. On January 29, 2019 at the age of 85 he passed from the loving arms of his extended family into the eternal refuge and secure arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Dick is survived by his beloved wife Carolyn, daughters Catherine Lindsey and Susan Jones, 3 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and his brother Tinsley and family. All will greatly miss his presence in their lives.
Dick's early life was spent in south Texas – first in Houston and then Beeville living on the family ranch where he learned to ride horses and to experience the outdoors. The start of WWII brought a family move to Corpus Christi where he would spend his school years through sophomore year. Those initial years were filled with new neighborhood friendships, sandlot sports, summertime bicycle trips to the beach to swim or fish from one of the bay piers, to the local YMCA or next door city library to discover independent learning through books.
By freshman and sophomore high school years, Dick's chief interests turned to the main organized sports of basketball, baseball and football. However, football was the most important of the three and the one at which he had begun to excel. In the summer of 1948 his father's new job dictated an out of state move from Corpus to Bowling Green, Kentucky just in time to start his junior high school year. BG was a wonderful small college city of about 35,000. Dick made many new friends and he immediately made the BGHS football team. Unfortunately, in late November his dad's job required a return family move to Houston where Dick knew a one-year suspension from Texas interscholastic sports would result – thus no organized school football or baseball his senior year.
After much discussion, the family agreed he would remain in BG. To do so he obtained a room in a private home one block from the high school, a job in a nearby boarding house serving breakfast and evening meals to college students in return for his free meals, and a weekend job at a Shell service station. At that job, on a busy highway bypass, Dick learned to service cars, repair flats and eventually was entrusted to manage and to close the station on Sunday nights. These early responsibilities were lifetime lessons that stayed with him as he remained behind to complete his junior year at BGHS.
Retuning to Texas for the summer between junior and senior years, Dick worked for a road boring and tunneling company digging under road tunnels. At the end of summer, he returned to Bowling Green for his senior year. It turned out to be a great senior year with the football team winning most of its games. At the end of season, Dick was selected to both All District and to the 1950 Kentucky All-State football teams.
With high school senior year over Dick returned to his family in Houston and applied to enter college at Texas A&M. At A&M he enrolled in pursuit of a degree in Petroleum Engineering – a difficult four-year study requiring 159 credit hours, or as he described -- "seven 20 hour semesters plus one 'easy' 19 hour semester". However, a couple of summer sessions helped cushion the load of the 20-hour semesters and enable graduation in 4 years. A part of his degree plan required one year of oil field experience which he accomplished working as a 'roughneck' on a drilling rig in south Texas. His summer experiences road tunneling and as a 'roughneck' convinced him a degree as an engineer was a preferred path.
While most school days at A&M were spent studying with friends or in various school activities, a truly phenomenal thing happened during his junior year. On a blind date he met Carolyn Marie Smith -- a "Smoking Hot Babe" from Baytown, Texas. Shortly thereafter, they became engaged with plans to marry after graduation. Carolyn would become and continued to be the true love and absolute joy of his life in this world throughout their 63 wonderful years of marriage.
Upon graduating as a degreed Petroleum Engineer in May, 1955 he began working as an engineer trainee for Getty Oil Company in the South Louisiana swampland area of Venice. It was the start of an exciting future and all was well with his world until receiving a call from his brother in early September that their father had suddenly and tragically passed away at the young age of 44. His father was a major, lasting influence providing love and guidance that would remain with, and impact Dick throughout his lifetime.
Rather than a large formal wedding, Dick and Carolyn elected to elope shortly thereafter to Liberty, Texas on November 7, 1955 where Dick gladly surrendered 'his liberty'. The ensuing years would take the couple to Colorado and Germany [Army days], and in the oil business back to Louisiana, Oklahoma, West Texas, Los Angeles and Bakersfield California and finally to Houston [3 times]. Dick's 38-year career transitioned from a field operations and reservoir engineer to various management positions in engineering and financial planning with Getty and Texaco. During his career Dick held memberships in the Houston Club, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Financial Planner Society as well as Registered Professional Engineer Licenses in both the states of Oklahoma and Texas.
Dick and Carolyn were long time members of Kingwood United Methodist Church. They also held a long membership in KWCC where they enjoyed many rounds of golf with friends [and where Dick held a 3-2 edge over Carolyn in hole-in-one achievements]. After retiring in July 1992, they spent many days traveling in their motor home throughout the USA for golf and for Aggie football games as members of The 12th Man Foundation. Dick and Carolyn embraced all things 'Aggie' as season ticket holders for over 30 years of Aggie football, as supporters of both men and women's basketball and baseball, and in any competitive events against the "tu teasippers". There were also many "Traveling Aggie" cruises and other excursions throughout the world as they visited over 35 different countries. Aside from support for their church, a 45+ year commitment to the Association of Former Students at A&M and the 12th Man Foundation, Dick and Carolyn also funded two scholarships in Petroleum Engineering at A&M.
Through this lifelong journey, two daughters – Catherine Anne [born in Germany] and Susan Marie [born in Louisiana] – joined the family. His three girls provided much joy, love and happiness throughout Dick's lifetime. Of equal joy was the presence of three grown grandchildren Kirsten, Cameron and Christopher and five great grandchildren.
Dick had many important loves in his life – his Lord, his family [especially Carolyn], his state and country, and lastly Texas A&M. Of these, none exceeded his deep and abiding love and appreciation for Carolyn and for her everyday companionship. Her commitment and willingness to uproot her life to follow him to each new assignment in his career, her unselfish and faithful love for their family and her caring for him in the latter days of their marriage was immeasurable.
No formal funeral services are scheduled as Dick decreed that his body be donated to the medical school at Texas A & M.
In closing, his words to all are – Gig 'em Ags!

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