SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Willard Lear Jones, 76


April 21, 2007

Ketchikan , Alaska - Willard Lear Jones, age 76, died on April 5, 2007, in Ketchikan. His Haida name was Naastao of the Raven-Brown Bear Killerwhale Clan of Taas Laa Naas (Kasaan).

jpg Willard Lear Jones

Willard Lear Jones

He was born on May 30, 1930, in Kasaan. He attended schools in Kasaan, Richmond Beach, Washington, Sheldon Jackson Junior and Senior High School in Sitka, and Oakland (Calif.) City College in diesel mechanic training. He lived in Kasaan, Sitka, Metlakatla, Big Delta, Oakland, Calif., and Ketchikan.

He married Mary Elizabeth Baines on March 15, 1951, in Sitka, and they recently celebrated their 56th anniversary.

Mr. Jones was employed as a commercial fisherman, diesel mechanic, high school teacher, and college diesel instructor at the Ketchikan Community College and University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan campus for 17 years. He was a Sealaska and Kavilco shareholder. He was Kavilco's first Chairman of the Board and a board member for 21 years.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict with training in Big Delta.

A member of the Presbyterian Church, Mr. Jones enjoyed singing in the Sitka, Metlakatla and Ketchikan choirs.

He was active in Sitka Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp #1 and Ketchikan ANB Camp #14. He was a lifetime member and past president of Camp #14. In addition, he held most other offices and represented the camp in numerous Grand Camp conventions. Mr. Jones also served as Grand Camp 1st and 2nd Grand Camp vice president positions.

He was also active as a Tlingit and Haida member, a Ketchikan School Board member, and served on the national American Indian Travel Commission.

While serving on the Ketchikan School Board and ANB Education Committee, his family writes, "Willard's main interest and concern was the Native students, in hopes of decreasing the number of dropouts."

Mr. Jones was a Native artisan with drawing, wood carving, silver smithing, and most recently cedar bark basketry.

"Foremost, he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend," his family writes. "We will all miss him dearly."

He was preceded in death by his parents, Anna (Frank) and Louis Lear Jones; and siblings, Ray, Henry, George, Melinda and Leah Jones, and Catherine Kerstetter.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary (Baines) Jones; daughter, Eleanor Louise Hadden, her husband Ronald Steven Hadden, and their children, Kristopher Laird Hadden and his wife Sara Beth Hadden, and Jennifer Lynn Hadden and Morgan Hunter and their daughter, his great-grandchild, Melissa Kaye Hunter; son, Laird Allen Jones, his wife Francine Eddy Jones, and their son Justin Laird Jones; sister, Julia Jones Coburn of Kasaan; godson, Daniel Berg; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The memorial service and Ketchikan ANB Camp #14 service was held on Monday, April 9, 2007, at noon at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. The service was officiated by the Rev. George R. Pasley of the Presbyterian Church, and Richard Jackson, Ketchikan ANB Camp #14. Mr. Jones' ashes will be spread at a later date.



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Ketchikan, Alaska