Robert Gean Jones
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Robert Gean Jones, 87, of the Tellico Village community, passed peacefully from this life to the next on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, in Knoxville, surrounded by family.
Born Feb. 17, 1925, in Magnolia, Ark., to a Baptist preacher father and church organist mother, Bob was called to the gospel ministry at age 16. He graduated from Baylor University and earned a bachelor's in divinity and master's and Ph.D. from Yale University while pastoring two churches. He published an original translation of one section of the Dead Sea Scrolls not long after their discovery.
Dr. Jones taught courses in religion and humanities at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., for 32 years, serving as chairman of the department of religion for 16 years and as University Marshal for 20 years.
In 1991, he was named Professor Emeritus and moved to Tennessee to be close to his grandchildren (and their parents). In "retirement," he was an adjunct professor in Chattanooga and Maryville and taught in the Oak Ridge Institute of Continued Learning for 14 years. He taught all but the last class in his 2012 summer course at ORICL and was scheduled to teach again in the fall. He taught adult Sunday school classes in every church he joined from 1960 until July of this year.
As a follower of the master carpenter and fisher of men, Bob cultivated hobbies of woodworking and fishing. As a member of the Tellico Village Woodworkers, he gleefully judged contests with devilish rules of his own devising and was the chairman of the Toys for Tots committee (a.k.a. Bob's Bad Boys), aspiring to be named chairman emeritus. He delighted in sharing his woodshop and his pontoon boat with his grandsons and many friends, simultaneously entertaining and mentoring them.
He was predeceased by parents, Emless Bunyan and Eunice Gean Jones and brother, E.B. Jones.
Bob is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Marian Alexander Jones; daughter Carolyn Ann Parkhurst (Walter) of Signal Mountain; two grandsons, John Alexander Parkhurst of Chattanooga and Andrew Douglas Parkhurst of Macon, Ga.; numerous nieces and nephews, their families and many friends and former students.
The family received friends 6-8 p.m. Sept. 7 at Click Funeral Home in Lenoir City and at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 8 at West Hills Baptist Church (409 N Winston Rd., Knoxville). A memorial service was held at noon Sept. 8 at the church, with the Rev. Drew Prince officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Southern Arkansas University Foundation, designated for the Lois Gean Kelly Lectureship in the Humanities (SAU Foundation, PO Box 9174, Magnolia, AR 71754, or http://www.saufoundation.org under "Make a Gift").
Click Funeral Home in Lenoir City is serving the family. www.clickfuneralhome.com
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