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dr. KeviN rice JoNes


e’re sad to report that Chapter member and aviator Kevin Jones has gone West.

Born Dec. 24, 1923, in Schenectady, N.Y. to Laurence D. and Irma Rice Jones, Dr. Jones died March 20, 2009. He was 85.

Jones joined the Navy in 1942, and became a pilot, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He survived training, in- cluding crashing an airplane into Lake Washington near Seattle. He went on to hunt German U-boats in the Atlantic while assigned to the carrier USS Bogue.

After the war he married JoAnn (Pete) Pe- terson on June 11, 1945. They were married for 63 years and she survives him, along with a daughter and son-in-law, Marcia and Jeff Dysart of Baltimore, Md.; son and daughter-in-law, Lauren and Vivien Jones of Providence, R.I.; son and daugh- ter-in-law, Brock and Jude Summerjones of Columbia, Mo. and Whitney Jones of San Francisco, Calif. Other survivors are grandchildren, Dylan, Hayden and Carson Jones originally from Providence, and Amalia and Bronwen Jones of San Francisco.

Another son, Griffith, preceded him in death.

Jones received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. He worked for a time in Oak Ridge, Tenn. on a project to create a nuclear airplane, but left when it became evident that the project would fail. He continued his education and received a Ph.D in Physics from the University of Kansas. He taught Petroleum Engineering at KU from 1957 to 1966, except one year that he spent as a Fulbright Scholar in Medellin, Colombia. After that he held positions as director of,

Experimental Aircraft Association

letter froM the PresideNt

or working in, computing departments at North Carolina State Univer- sity (Raleigh), for Perkin Elmer Corporation while living in Ridgefield at the University of Delaware (Newark), and for the Naval Underwater Systems Center, New London. He resigned from NUSC in the late 1970s to build and manage the SPOK! Racquetball Club with Pete for several years. In the early 1980s, Jones did computer programming and consulting on a part-time basis.

With nicknames from his Navy days “Available Jones,” family “Ol’ Bear” and locally “KJ, KR.” Jones loved sailing, tennis, the UCONN women’s basketball team, his tools and gadgets, skiing, play- ing bridge and poker, computing, his annual vacations to visit beloved friends in Westport, N.Y., reading, and living life in a way that defies description. Among his many memorable experiences, jump- ing off a roof onto a trampoline, several ocean sailing trips, being on a Selma march with Dr. Martin Luther King, constructing a 90-pound ping-pong table, building a slot-car racetrack, coaching volleyball at the University of Kansas (and recruiting Wilt Chamberlain), creating a “teaching machine,” being nationally ranked for his age-group in racquetball, and buying an ultralight plane at age 82. A member of Mensa, Jones was a lifelong defender of going barefoot, a habit begun as a child in idyllic times on a Lake George, N.Y. island.

Contributions in his honor may be sent to Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 27, c/o Bill Jagoda, 43 Derby Rd., Rockfall, CT 06473.

his month our Chapter will be hold- ing our monthly meeting at the New England Air Museum. This is a great opportunity to share some of the world’s finest examples of aviation history with our fellow Chapter members. This fine facil- ity houses a broad spectrum of aviation related displays. Exhibits ranging from ballooning to our finest jet aircraft; from a Wright engine to a fully restored B29 Flying Fortress; from an exhibit of Glider pilots of WWII to a GeeBee Racer; from a fine Igor Sikorsky display to the 58th Bomb Wing Memorial; essentially something for the interest of everyone interested in aviation. Our Chapter is fortunate to have such a fine museum in our back yard. Be sure to join us for an abbreviated Chapter meeting, some refreshments and a tour of this fine facility. Many thanks go out to Chapter member Steve Socolosky for coordinating our visit with the museum. Don’t forget that there is a $10 admission fee. T

Laura Hargreave (Young Eagle and Air Academy attendee from 2008) will be joining us and sharing her story of her visit to Minneapolis and flying the 747 Flight Simulator with Chapter member Dorothy Vallee.

Our newest EAAAirAcademy sponsored youngster, Isaiah Tiezzi, and his mother will be joining us at the museum. Please join me in making them feel welcome to our event.

See you at 10AM on Sunday, April 19th at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks. Betty and I look forward to seeing you all there.

  • Jim Simmons

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