Richard Warren Jones, 98, of Spearfish, passed away Sept. 8, 2020. He was born in Sioux Falls to Ralph and Ruth Jones. He developed an early interest in photography and met Eileen Dyce while doing the photo session for the 1941 Washington High School Homecoming Week. He remarked that “She was the only queen candidate that wasn’t concerned with her hair or her make-up. She just bounced into the meeting and said lets have some fun with this”. It took three months of persistence before she agreed to a date. They were married Aug. 24, 1944.
After High School Richard moved to Washington, DC where he worked for the FBI as a fingerprint specialist. When war broke out he enlisted in the Navy, earned his Navy wings and spent the remainder of the war as a Navy flight instructor in Pensacola, Fla. In 1945, he and Eileen returned to South Dakota and Richard earned a degree from SDSU in horticulture. He started a landscaping business in Sioux Falls and became the owner of Young & Richards Flowers which he and Eileen ran for years.
Richard was active in the Lions Club, the Scottish Rite of Free Masons and the Rickshaw unit of the Shriners. He gave generously of his time and his talents and was the epitome of the term “Jack of all trades”. He was an excellent businessman, gardener, landscaper and carpenter. He had no fear of hard work and mastered multiple skills. He balanced life with camping trips, weekends boating and many car vacations with family, covering most of the states over the years. In 1966 he and Eileen purchased a lake cottage where they spent many summers and Richard put all his skills to good use.
Richard and Eileen eventually moved to Spearfish, South Dakota to be closer to their grandchildren. In typical form Richard immediately re-did all the landscaping. A neighbor once commented that he looked over and “There’s 86 year old Dick, standing on top of a 10 foot step ladder trimming branches”. That pretty much sums up Richard’s life. Find a task, do it, go find another.
Richard was a wonderful father and grandfather and will be remembered for his never faltering devotion to Eileen and their 76 years of marriage. He was a quiet and humble man for the most part, but when he spoke it was well worth listening. He was very involved in his sons lives and also their friends, often including them in activities and hosting them at the lake cottage. He loved being in the great outdoors and was always looking to find another adventure.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife. He is survived by his two sons, Reed Jones of Denver, Colorado and Todd (Lynn) Jones of Deadwood, South Dakota. He is also survived by grandchildren Ian Jones of Denver, Colo., and Jenna (Nate) Ovenden of Sioux Falls, and great granddaughters Emery and Ella Ovenden.
Richard and Eileen will be laid to rest at Black Hills National Cemetery, near Sturgis.
A memorial service for Richard will be held in the future. Cards and memories can be sent to Todd Jones at PO Box 671, Deadwood, SD 57732. A memorial will be established for the YMCA Leif Ericson Day Camp and any donations can be sent to this address also. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.
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