Frank Jones, 1929-2015

Frank Jones

Frank Jones

The Rev. Frank Jones, 85, passed away at home in Conway on Monday, June 15, 2015, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Ironton, Mo., on Aug. 22, 1929, the son of Alfred and Mariette Jones. In 1956, he married Sue Osment of Jonesboro, and they shared 58 years together characterized by a deep commitment to each other, a shared love for the church and close relationships with a number of life-long friends, many of whom dated to their days as students at Hendrix College.

Frank graduated from Hendrix College and Perkins School of Theology, and was a Methodist minister for more than 50 years. In his churches he was known as a strong and courageous preacher, a warm caring pastor, and a minister involved in the community. Across almost 20 states he shared his gifts as a Bible teacher who explained the Scriptures in simple language, applied them to everyday life and related them to vital issues of our time. His trademarks were his sense of humor, his smile and having everyone call him by his first name.

His early Arkansas Methodist pastorates were at Eureka Springs and St. John in Van Buren. He served as a campus minister in Fayetteville, Ark., and Springfield, Mo. His Missouri pastorates were Brookfield Trinity, Carthage, Springfield King’s Way and Blue Springs First.

Frank was a born storyteller and used that gift in his preaching and teaching as well as in conversation, where he enjoyed passing on the stories of his Ozark upbringing. In retirement he became a professional storyteller, appearing in schools, at the Ozark Folk Center and the Faulkner County Library, and in a variety of other settings, with stories of many kinds.

He lived 33 years as a survivor of bladder cancer, cheerfully accepting of its life-changing consequences, and he long ministered to others facing similar challenges.

Survivors include his wife, Sue Osment Jones; three children, Rock and Melissa Jones of Delaware, Ohio, with grandchildren Alissan, Christopher and Anna; Brick and Dana Jones of Austin, Texas, with grandchildren Sam and Johanna; and Pebble and David Sutherland of Conway, with grandchildren Susanna, Clay and Reid. He is also survived by his two sisters, Mariette Booker and Barbara Jones; and was preceded in death by his brother, Russell Jones.

His funeral was held Saturday, June 20, at First United Methodist Church Conway. Memorial gifts may be made to the Frank Jones and Sue Osment Jones Scholarship at Hendrix College, 1600 Washington Ave., Conway AR 72032 or to First UMC, 1610 Prince Street, Conway, AR 72034.