Thomas N. Jones • October 11, 2021
LCDR Thomas N. Jones USNR (ret.) died peacefully at home in Pensacola, Florida on October 11th, 2021. He was born September 27, 1924 in Painesville, Ohio. His parents were Ted and Ruby Jones. He grew up on his family farm in Ohio and later the family, which then included his beautiful baby sister Elizabeth, moved to Detroit, Michigan.
He joined the Navy in 1942 as a Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) and started flight school. He earned his wings of Gold in Pensacola in 1944. After completing training on the venerable PBY he joined his new squadron and proceeded towards the Western Pacific to take part in Operation Downfall, the invasion of the Japanese home islands. The squadron was in Pearl Harbor when they were ordered to stand fast. A few days later they learned that Japan had agreed to surrender unconditionally. The squadron flew back to San Francisco.
After World War II ended Tom transitioned to the Naval Reserves and returned to Detroit. He engaged in the family foundry business with his father. During this time he started courting Mary Elizabeth Downing and in September of 1950 they married. The winds of war blew again this time in Korea and Tom’s reserve squadron, VP-731, were activated and flew west. Mary lived in San Diego with the other squadron wives. After countless patrol missions over the South China Sea the squadron returned to Detroit. Tom remained on active duty and was assigned to Saufley field in Pensacola. While in Pensacola, Tom and Mary welcomed their first daughter Margaret in 1952.
Tom and Mary returned to Detroit in 1952 where Tom returned to the foundry business. Tom continued to fly for the Navy Reserve. They welcomed their second daughter, Susan, in 1954. Multiple adventures filled their lives as they raised their daughters including adding a son, Thomas, in 1960. The winds of war raged again in 1967 and Tom flew missions in the Republic of Viet Nam as a reservist. Subsequently Tom was recalled to active duty and the family moved to New York where Tom served at Eastern Sea Frontier and as personal pilot for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The family moved once more to Keflavik, Iceland where Margaret and Susan graduated from high school and Tom retired from the Navy. Tom and Mary left Iceland in 1973 and Tom took advantage of his G.I. Bill to complete a B.S. in Finance at the University of New Hampshire.
The family moved to St. Mary’s County, Maryland where Tom started working for the Navy as a field representative. While there Tom traveled extensively for his work with Mary occasionally joining on travels to far off lands. During this time they became doting grandparents to both their daughter’s children. Life was good. They moved to Pensacola in 2005 to focus on care for Mary who was quite ill. Sadly Mary died in 2006 but Tom was surrounded by his family at First Presbyterian Church and his son TJ and his wife. Through the years he was visited by his children and his nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His is preceded in death by his parents and Mary, his devoted wife of 55 years. His is survived by his children, Margaret Densford (Joseph) of St. Inigoes, Maryland, Susan Carr (James) of Kaukauna, Wisconsin and son TJ (Lynn) of Pensacola, Florida. Additionally he is survived by his sister Elizabeth Johnson of Macon, Georgia. He has a total of nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Monday 25 October, 2021 at 1030 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church located at 33 East Gregory Street, Pensacola, Florida. Interment will be at Barrancas National Cemetery on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers please make a contribution to:
Veterans Flight – Pensacola Beach Air Show
Attn: Roy M. Kinsey, Jr.
Walborsky, Bradley & Fleming, PLLC
438 East Government Street
Pensacola, Florida 32502
Veteran’s Flight is a 501(3) (c) charity. 100% of the donations go to the charity. There are no salaries taken. Your contributions are tax deductable.
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