|Edward David Jones|
May 8, 1920-May 13, 2014
Dr. Jones, retired Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was a devoted husband and family man. His faith, character, and work ethic inspired his family and all who knew him.
Edward David Jones was born on May 8, 1920 in Fish Creek, to second-generation Welsh parents, Eben E. and Rachel H. (Williams) Jones who lived on the farm homestead. He graduated from Sparta High School at the age of 17. He was a member of the 1937 Sparta High School basketball team that advanced to the WI State Championship Finals.
After working for two years, Ed enrolled in the College of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin in Madison until the start of World War II. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps and was assigned to fly B-17 bombers as a pilot in the Eighth Air Force. He flew 33 missions. Dr. Jones attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was awarded the European Theatre Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars, Air Medal with 3 Oakleaf Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, Ed returned to the University of Wisconsin to complete his education. There he met the love of his life and future wife, Barbara Jones. She followed in the tradition of her own mother, whose maiden name was Jones.
Ed completed his undergraduate work, and then obtained his MS and eventually a PhD in Plant Pathology. In 1958 he joined the Cornell University faculty as an assistant professor, and was instrumental in the development of the Uihlein Farm of Cornell University. The program pioneered the development of disease-free foundation potato seed stocks by tissue culture. Ed dedicated more than 30 years to research and development protocols that have been widely replicated.
He became the first Henry and Mildred Uihlein Professor of Plant Pathology, an endowed chair at Cornell University in1987. A career-long member of the Potato Association of America (PAA), Ed chaired the Potato Certification Committee that developed the initial standards for the first National Seed Potato Grade. He served as president of the PAA in 1983-84 and was named an Honorary Life Member in 1986.
Ed had a lifelong love of sports. As a sophomore at UW, he lettered in both baseball and basketball. He played the position of forward on the 1941-42 Wisconsin Badgers NCAA Basketball Championship team. Prior to his death, he was the sole surviving member of the Badger’s only NCAA National Basketball Championship team.
On Feb. 6, 2013, Ed was named 1941 National Champion Honorary Captain at the 75th Anniversary celebration during March Madness at the Kohl Center in Madison. During his life, he was active in youth baseball, coaching numerous championship teams. Ed also acted as manager for several youth ice hockey travel teams. His positive influence served as a role model for many young athletes. Ed served as an off-ice hockey official at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid and witnessed first-hand the “Miracle on Ice”.
Married 66 years to his wife, Barbara, Ed remained committed to church activities all his life. Playing the oboe and clarinet in high school and as a member of the school chorus, he began a life-long interest in music. Because of his support of Welsh sacred music, Ed was named an Honorary Life Trustee of the Welsh Gymanfa Ganu (Hymn Festival) Association of Wisconsin.
Survivors include: his devoted wife: Barbara; daughters: Kathleen (Bill) Smullen and Jaclyn Jones; sons: E. Douglas (Tracy) Jones and Dr. David (Julie) Jones; 13 grandchildren; two great-grandsons; sister-in-law: Sandra (John) Stanicek; nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his only sibling Catherine Jones.
Funeral services were held on Sunday, May 18 at the Congregational United Church of Christ, Sparta.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his memory to the Redgranite First Congregational United Church of Christ, 887 Bonnell Ave., Redgranite, WI 54970 or the Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association of Wisconsin, Dick Myers, Treasurer, 9140 N. Sycamore Ct., Bayside, WI 53217.
The Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Services assisted the family with arrangements, www.bradshawfuneral.com.