M R Jones (Maurice R.)
- was born on October 6, 1921, lived in Orlando for the past 53 years, reached the age of 95 and died peacefully on July 2, 2017.
M R was foremost a family man. The oldest of 6 children, he grew up in Pennsylvania during the depression years, attended a one-room schoolhouse, and developed deep regard for family relationships and friendships. When M R graduated from high school in 1939, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was sent to Hickam Air Field in Hawaii. He survived the Pearl Harbor bombings on Dec 7, 1941, and served as an aviation engineer and mechanic throughout the war, flying missions in the Pacific and out of Australia, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he was transferred to the Orlando Army Air Base, took a side mission to participate in the Berlin Air Lift, and then took the opportunity to transfer to the newly created Department of the Air Force. Because his vision prevented him from continuing in aviation, he changed his career focus and joined the Air Force Office of Special Investigation. He retired from the Air Force in 1964, moved the family back to Orlando, spent the next 10 years in his final career with Sun Bank at Orlando, and lived in the family home for the rest of his life.
Dorothy Jean was the love of his life. They were married 55 years. When she developed Alzheimer’s, M R took care of her at home until her death in 2007. He was astonished that he had survived her, and outlived Dorothy Jean by over 10 years.
M R had 4 children … daughters Leilani, Tanya(Wyatt) and Yvonne…son Ray (Jeana)… and god-son Gary. He was very proud of his children and took great joy in their lives and families. He delighted in his 9 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, and treasured their affection for him. He enjoyed close relationships with many nieces and nephews. He lived on Ferris Street for 53 years, and many neighbors became dear friends.
When M R and Dorothy Jean brought the family home to Orlando in 1964, they quickly sought out Reeves Methodist Church. The relationships with several pastors and other parishioners over the past 50 plus years have nurtured, enriched, and sustained the family through the natural ups and downs of family life. Particularly, the Reeves Knit-Wits became important extended family members. M R and Dorothy Jean also learned the value of support groups to help them through challenging times, and developed many more extended family friendships. M R came to know friends of Bill W., and counted on that fellowship for 41 years. Likewise, M R and Dorothy Jean counted on the fellowship of their Alzheimer’s support group for over 15 years. He truly believed in the philosophy…ONE DAY AT A TIME. He also believed that HOPE FLOATS and that GRATITUDE was essential in keeping life balanced and in acknowledging the presence of a Higher Power in his life.
M R enjoyed golf… played in a threesome for many years at Winter Park Pines, hit a hole in one when he was 82. After being diagnosed with Diabetes in his 50’s, he took up walking and walked with discipline until the end of life. When he turned 90, he joined the Marks Street senior gym where he exercised regularly until recent months.
Sometimes M R’s answer to any question was “Whatever”… or he would remind you that “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you’re rained out”. When asked “M R, how are you?”...you were likely to hear “For-Ked end down, eatin’ regular…you can’t beat it!” And when you left the house after a visit, you could count on him reminding you to “Keep it between the ditches!”
Because of M R’s love for his family, they know this: their father and mother loved them; God is Good all the Time; and they are very grateful.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Monday July 10 at 10:00 am at Reeves Methodist Church, 1100 N. Fern Creek Ave., in Orlando. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Hospice of the Comforter, or to your favorite charity would be in keeping with M R’s belief in doing whatever he could to help others.
Arrangements entrusted to Carey Hand Cox-Parker Funeral Home, Winter Park FL. Please sign family guest registry at www.careyhand.com.
M R was much loved by my family! He and Jean were long-time close friends of my aunt Jean Sowers and her husband Claude, who served with M R in WW II.
The rest of us were eager to adopt him, and I was grateful to get to know him and enjoy his wonderful, upbeat, down-to-earth style. He was simply a joy -- one of those people who makes the world a better place.
He will be missed. Sincere condolences to the family.
Judy AlthausLongmont, CO
Tanya, You & your family are in our prayers. We shall miss MR's smile & good humor. What an outstanding and giving caregiver you have been! God is smiling on you, too.
Dick & Nina StipeOrlando, FL
Our prayers are with your entire family. Your father will be missed by all. See you in church.
Ernie and Gala HatfieldOrlando, FL
What a wonderful life and tremendous example M.R. set for those who knew him. Though good times and tough times, perseverance ran strong. Truly the example of a life well lived. Go with God M.R.
Gary WilliamsSt. Augustine, FL
Dear Tanya, Yvonne, Ray and family:
I want to offer my deepest condolences on the loss of your Father and a fine man. Having known your Mom and Dad since I was very young and Ray and I would play together, have dinner at your house, play golf with Mr. Jones and Ray and talk to him about his military career and life, it is a loss that I also share.
He will be missed by his family, friends and those who knew him and his service to our country will always be honored by those who understand the sacrifices that he made.
On behalf on the Pyle family, we want to say that our prayers and thoughts are with each of you as go through this difficult time but know that many are keeping you in their thoughts today. May our Lord give each of you the Peace and comfort that is needed at this time.
God Bless you
Keith PyleOrlando, FL
We are lifting all of you up in prayer. May His comfort and peace surround all of you.
Lamentations 3:22-23; 31-32.
Bob & Patti Owens
Bob & Patti OwensSouth Cairo, NY
Dear Tanya and Family,
I will remember that smile and the generous nature that was you Father. He loved and truly cared for everyone he met. My life is a better life for having known him. God bless you all.
Karen duffyOrlando, FL
Our thoughts of love and support are with Rachel, Yvonne, and the rest of the Jones family. His life was full of experiences and service to others, areas very near and dear to our hearts as well. May you draw comfort in your memories and know that his love surrounds you. Love Kathy and Doug Downs
Doug and Kathy DownsTucson, AZ
Goodbye Uncle M.R. My admiration for you grew greatly through the years. Thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. I'm pleased you are home at last with Aunt Dorothy Jean. Loved and missed. Your niece, Brenda Faye.
Brenda ValentinePuryear, TN