Obituary of Michael Jones
Michael Lawrence Jones, the son of Mortimer Lincoln “Mickey” and Dorothy Fern (Coe) Jones, was born May 22, 1944 in Port Angeles, Washington, where his father was stationed during World War II. After the war, “Mike” moved with his parents to Dunlap, Iowa, where he attended kindergarten and half of first grade. He moved to Toledo, Iowa and attended local schools, graduating from Toledo High School in 1962. While in school, he enjoyed journalism and was on the newspaper staff and lettered in baseball and football. A heart murmur kept him from his plan to enlist in the Navy, so he went to Plan B and enrolled in the Cedar Rapids Barber College and worked as a barber in Waterloo, Tama and Iowa City. In 1965, he married Linda Vore in Toledo. To this union were born two children. He married Carol Skinner in 1991 in Newton, Iowa.
In 1970, Mike took an opportunity to work as an inspector in the Iowa City Building Department, transferring in 1972 to the Department of Urban Renewal where he was responsible for developing temporary locations for businesses being displaced by the Urban Renewal Program. In 1974, Mike moved to Newton where he worked as a Certified Building Official and Plans Examiner. He represented the City of Newton in property negotiations for the Urban Renewal Program and was instrumental in acquiring over 150 parcels of property for projects such as Park Centre, Newton Village, and others. He developed the Dangerous and Dilapidated Program, acquiring and demolishing substandard properties, selling the vacant land for new construction. These two programs and the Iowa City Clinton Street Mall project of 1973 were his proudest accomplishments. He retired in 2003 after 33 years in City government.
Mike was involved in both state and local activities, having served twice as president of the Iowa Association of Building Officials (IABO) in 1979 and 1980, was a member of the Iowa Electrical Inspectors Association, and Iowa Plumbing Inspectors Association, Newton Jaycees, and president of the Newton Optimist Club. He loved the outdoors, was an avid pheasant hunter and a member of Pheasants Forever and Isaac Walton League. He enjoyed target shooting and playing pool, and in retirement, developed an interest in cooking, saying cooking was like building, only using different ingredients instead of lumber.
Mike died on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at the Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He was 72 years old. Mike was preceded in death by his parents.
Those left to cherish Mike’s memory include his wife, Carol A. Jones; his son, Brian Douglas Jones; his step-children, Michael (Kristi) Skinner and Julie (Blake) Jessen; his grandchildren, Natalie and Eric Jones, Charlie, Ben and Will Skinner, John, Luke, and Kate Jessen; and his brother, Max Jones.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 1, 2017 at the Pence ~ Reese Funeral Home in Newton. The family will greet friends from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to Pheasants Forever or the American Heart Association and may be left at the Pence ~ Reese Funeral Home.