• Special to The Sun

Gary Jones, long active in the community, dies

Gary C. Jones, 64, a lifelong resident of Woodford County, died Wednesday, April 5, 2017, after a long struggle with cancer. Born and raised in Midway, he was the son of the late Clyde and Carolyn Montgomery Jones. He later moved to Versailles, where he has lived, raised his family, and touched the lives of countless children and their families throughout Woodford County. Jones was a 1970 graduate of Woodford County High School, earned his bachelor's degree from Morehead State University in 1975, and received his master's degree in education from Georgetown College in 1980. Jones grew up in Midway, working in the tobacco fields with his father, his uncles, and the countless Jones cousins. He enjoyed sports and spent many hours playing Little League baseball at the Midway ball park. He was a WCHS high school letterman in baseball, basketball and football, and was named to the 1969 All CKS and All-State Honorable Mention Football Teams. As a young adult, he continued his passion for sports by playing softball and baseball locally and nationally. Jones began a professional career in law enforcement and was a part of the Woodford County Sheriff's Department as its first juvenile officer. This allowed him the early opportunity to aid and support the youths of the community to find a better path, make better decisions and develop hope. He then transitioned to teaching when he started at Nonesuch Elementary and went on to teach at the Woodford County junior high and high schools. Out of deep concern for struggling youth in school and in life, he helped to implement the high school's first in-school VISA program, providing encouragement and support for kids in need of guidance. In addition to teaching, he was an assistant coach in football and girls' basketball. Following his retirement from the schools he turned his attention to the Woodford County Parks and Recreation Department. In 1986, he was named the director, where he stayed engaged in programs as an umpire, a referee, a coach and a friend to the many children and families who participated in youth sports in Woodford County over the years. Regardless of athletic their abilities, Jones made it a point to make sure every child had fun playing sports, win or lose. Following 19 years of service to the recreation department, he went to work at the Federal Bureau of Prisons through GS4 security and encouraged and supported the prisoners who required medical care and assistance. He later joined Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home, where he worked to support and comfort grieving families. In his last effort to help serve the community, he was elected to the Versailles City Council, where he continued to work towards building a strong and prosperous community. Jones was the recipient of the Outstanding Youth Sports Leader Award and was recently recognized as the first recipient of the 2016 Woodford County Democratic Party "Gary C. Jones Outstanding Community Service Award." Survivors include two sons, Aaron Fletcher, Texas, and Taylor (Tricia) Jones, Covington; two sisters, Ann (Rick) Moss, Florida, and Teresa (Bob) James, Versailles; three grandchildren, Sylvia Fletcher, Bradley Fletcher, and the soon to be born baby "Jer Bear" Jones; a niece, Amanda (Bryan) Dowell; and three nephews, Steven (Deniece) Moss, David Moss, and Daniel (Hannah) James. A visitation was held Saturday, April 8, at Versailles Baptist Church with eulogies by his sons, and Larry Blackford, Steve Ward, and Rusty Parks. Services followed the visitation. According to Jones's wishes, his cremated remains will be distributed at the places he loved, Big Spring Park, Falling Springs, the Midway ball field, and the Jack Jouett House property. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are encouraged to the Gary C. Jones Community Scholarship, 142 Broadway, Versailles, KY 40383. Guestbook at www.BlackburnandWard.com.

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