May 14, 1934 – April 16, 2019
To those that truly knew Bobby Jones, he was a loyal friend, a loving father, and a true old-time cowboy. Almost everything Bobby did was for others. He never alienated anyone, but rather saw the good in everyone. He enjoyed people, history, horses, and a good joke.
Bobby was a walking history book. He could point out the exact location of every original homestead for miles, as well as the names of its inhabitants, even if the only remaining evidence was a mere divot in the vast prairie. The history of the area was more than just names and dates to Bobby. The stories he told were that of his life; a life shaped by the joys and hardships of a lifetime spent eking out a living as a rancher, doing what he loved.
A constant throughout Bobby’s life, was an appreciation of horses. One of Bobby’s earliest memories was that of driving a horse team for two miles, unassisted, when moving from the original homestead to the Jones place, as a six-year-old. From those early years on, Bobby told tales of rank broncs, spectacular wrecks, and the handy cow horses he took pride in riding and training. It was through training horses that Bobby funded his education at South Dakota State University.
Unassuming, as he was, Bobby arrived at the university with a single apple crate of clothes, a box of leather working tools, and a desire to prove himself. He passed this determination and work ethic down to his children; children many thought he would never have. Although many assumed Bobby would remain a bachelor, a school teacher from “out east” changed his course, years after Bobby returned to the ranch.
Bobby and Aggie’s enduring love story began when a mutual friend introduced them in 1978. Although Aggie taught at a rural school 30 miles away from Bobby’s ranch, the distance brought them closer together. During the bitter cold of winter, Bobby and Aggie spoke nightly on the phone; Aggie couldn’t see Bobby’s twinkling eyes and infectious grin, but she could appreciate his kind and patient spirit, which she readily fell in love with. Bobby and Aggie were married on October 6, 1979, and would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year.
Although separated, Bobby and Aggie’s legacy will continue to be celebrated here on earth by his wife, Mary Agnes “Aggie” Jones; loving children, Ted (Claire) Jones, Patrick Jones, and Anna (Mark) Braunschmidt; and grandchildren, Carter, Alexander, and Jackson.
The rejoicing will continue in Heaven as Bobby reunites with his parents, Buster and Luberta Jones; his two siblings, Dale Jones and Ida Mae Rounds; among many other friends and family. They will most likely be hosting a dance in Heaven’s closest community hall, complete with a live band and some lively two-stepping.
As an aside, God, please know that when you are speaking with Bobby, your hearing isn’t failing. Bobby always speaks that softly and generally mumbles, but trust me, whatever he has to say is always worth hearing.
Commemoration of Bobby’s life was held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Sturgis, SD, at 10:00 a.m. April 27, 2019. The committal followed at Pleasant View Cemetery in Red Owl, SD. Memories were shared at the Red Owl Hall.
A memorial has been established to Friends of Stoneville School.