Vernon “Vern” Elmer Jones, 83, longtime Westport resident and former commercial airline pilot, died May 5, 2022, at Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma, Washington.
Vern was born on Jan. 1, 1939, to Ralph Irwin and Irene Elizabeth (Reisbick) Jones in Portland, Oregon. He grew up in Portland and graduated from Cleveland High School in 1956. He then went to University of Portland and graduated in 1961 with his Bachelor’s in Engineering. It was also during this time that he married Nancy Marie O’Donnell on June 5, 1960, in Portland.
He joined the Air Force following graduation and they moved to Selma, Alabama for his pilot training and after 13 months he was stationed at McCord AFB in Tacoma, Washington for the next five years. They then moved to Vancouver, Washington for a year and then in 1969, they moved to Westport, Washington where they have lived since.
Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Vern went to work flying for West Coast Airlines in 1965 flying a DC-9. They later became Hughes Airlines, then Republic Airlines and then Northwest Airlines and eventually Delta Airlines. He retired on Jan. 1, 1995, having been captain of a 757.
Vern was a member of the Oaksridge Men’s Golf Club, Mid Washington Senior Golf Assoc., Pacific Flyway Decoy Assoc., Ward Museum of Wildlife Art, Columbia Flyway Wildlife Assoc and HAW/RARE Retired Airline Employees Assoc.
He enjoyed woodcarving, skiing, snowboarding, hunting, fishing and was an avid golfer. His enjoyment was spending time with his family and sharing his hobbies with his sons and grandchildren.
Vern is survived by his wife of 61 years, Nancy Jones of Westport, Washington; two sons: Tom (Lana) Jones of Ketchikan, Alaska and Jerry (Roberta) Jones of Westport, Washington; a brother Harvey Jones of Portland, Oregon; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
There will be a funeral service for Vern on Monday May 16, at noon in Fern Hill Funeral Home’s chapel, followed by a reception in Fern Hill’s Dorothy Mann Reception Hall. Entombment with military honors will follow the reception at Fern Hill Cemetery, Aberdeen, Washington.
The family would like donations to be made to South Beach Regional Fire Authority, in memory of Vern Jones, P.O. Box 1195, Westport, Washington 98595. They would also like to thank Summit Pacific Medical for all the kind care Vern received while there.
Arrangements are entrusted to Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home in Aberdeen, Washington.