Keith R Jones




Year(s) in Nam:



Delta 1/5

Contact Info Available?:



Died 10/11/02

Had it not been for patriots such as Keith Jones, we would not have this great nation of ours. The freedoms we have are preserved by the sacrifices and selflessness of my Dad and people like him. 

It is important to remember Dad and other patriots of our country because they are the foundation of our existence as United States citizens. When I get on my Harley and ride with the wind in my face or take my rifles to the gun club, I think of how important it is for us to honor Dad and others like him by taking full advantage of our freedom. That is what Dad would want for us.

Those of us who do not know, what it is like to hear shots fired in anger while serving the cause of freedom, some times take the freedom we have for granted. Dad walked the walk and talked the talk of an activist who felt passionate about freedom. There was nothing granted about freedom to him.

I have been very privileged to have Keith Jones as my Dad.

I have written a brief remembrance of Keith, to honor him, to salute his strengths, to remember the man that he was, and because I love him.

Keith was only 21 years old when I met him. He was my husband for 35 years and we lived many chapters of our lives together. He was a country boy from rural southeastern Ohio - courteous, respectful, slow to judge others and lacking in affectations. He was an accomplished musician, having won State competitions as a teenager, and he was a consistent performer in the marching band of the Ohio State University. Perhaps that was the basis for his quiet self-confidence. He was drafted early in 1967, and with the inevitability of military service, he signed on with the Marine Corps. We were married shortly before he reported for OCS at Quantico, where I discovered his capabilities of drive, determination, willingness to endure hardship, and commitment to his goals. He excelled in many areas and helped other Marines overcome difficult hurdles. It seemed to me that he could become the master of any situation. Later, when he went to Vietnam, I know it was with a sense of honor and he went as a patriot in service to his country. Keith was a young officer, leading and trying to protect his even younger Marines, facing impossible and horrific circumstances. He returned from the war, a decorated combat veteran, but he had a deep pain in his heart and a wounded soul, and healing never really came to him. 

Through the years that followed, Keith was husband, father, provider, and mentor and teacher to many in his chosen field of horticulture. He pursued his work not only to provide for his family, but because of his reverence for nature and especially his love of trees. He developed much knowledge through the years, and in his career, he had many successes - he designed small parks, brought modern utility line clearance procedures to central Illinois and wrote a manual that is now used by many utility companies, served as expert witness at trials, took on leadership responsibilities in trade organizations, made presentations and provided training at conferences, and he was the subject of an article in a trade magazine. He loved his family, nurtured our sons, held me steady during sad times, and stood with me during the period of caring for my mother in her last years.

Keith had a unique, easy-going style and a wonderful sense of humor. The boys and I refer to certain memories and sayings as “classic-Keith”. One fine memory is that of Keith settling a lawsuit against his company, just prior to the trial, by chatting and chewing tobacco with the plaintiff farmer outside of the rural courthouse, while the lawyers waited in court wondering what was happening. His sincerity and plain-talking, down to earth charm put people at ease and won their respect and confidence. On another occasion, when a television camera crew arrived at a lake where we were vacationing to interview Keith about a problem in the city, Keith remained in the water, standing dock-side while he cleaned the fish that he and the boys had caught. The interview took place there, with Keith cleaning fish throughout. He appeared on nightly television news later, complete with fish parts - - that was truly a “classic-Keith” moment!

I will remember Keith with deepest love and great admiration. I do not know where my life will take me now, but I will always keep him close in my memories and in my heart. I do not understand the mystery of life, of our existence on this planet. But when I leave this earth, if I find the common hope of humankind for another life after this earthly one, to be a spiritual reality, I will be joyful to be at Keith’s side once again.

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