Obituary Self-Authored by G. Russell Jones:
On September 10, 2020, Gerald Russell Jones, 68, died and went somewhere. Although we have high hopes for him, we’re not making any assumptions. It could go either way.
Russell or Russ was born on January 27, 1952, to Gerald Dean Jones and Fern Lott. Despite this initial setback, Jerry and Fern tried five more times for a normal child before they gave up. They lived in Victor.
Russ attended Teton Valley schools where he learned how to hunt, fish, play football, basketball, baseball, and hooky bob, make snow doughnuts with the family car (which led to one epic night with a decrepit school bus on Victor’s Main Street), and many other similar non-marketable skills. When he graduated from high school he was unprepared for any type of life that did not require a shovel and a Pulaski.
If he had not had such high morals and standards he may have been driven into politics, or even to study law, but instead he chose the high road and eventually earned a degree in Journalism.
He attended Ricks College for one year and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Arizona Mission. Upon returning from his mission he attended Idaho State University where he graduated. He then embarked on a journalistic campaign to terrorize school boards, county commissions, city councils, and a few other lucky individuals all over eastern Idaho before his talents were recognized and he was recruited to write weasel words for Idaho’s largest electric utility, Idaho Power.
On March 20, 1975, he married Barbara Havlicak, the most patient and sweet woman on earth. They had four daughters: Heather, Natalie, Katie Jo and Suzanne. They lived in Boise where Russ taught them how to trap squirrels, grow potatoes and onions, and go to church on Sunday.
For about 10 years while his girls were growing up, Russ coached and umpired fast pitch softball games for Little League and high school games. He enjoyed this immensely. He became acquainted with hundreds of other fans, coaches, players and umpires in the Treasure Valley. He was always ultra-competitive. One or two of these people actually remember him fondly.
Russ’s grandchildren had many names for him. Among them, he is known as Damnpa, Damnpa Rust, Grandpa Rustic, Guppa, Gumpa, Grandpa Russbarb and Grandma Russbarb---all of these names tickled him endlessly.
Ever sentimental, Russ was a lifelong Los Angeles Dodgers fan like his mother. A short while back, he sent a letter to Dodgers management requesting that when he dies a contingent of Dodgers be sent to Idaho to serve as pallbearers at his funeral, so they could let him down one last time.
He consumed Diet Coke by the gallon. In fact, he drank so much that he advised people throughout his life that once he died they should sell any stock they own in the Coca-Cola Company. He prophesied the stock is likely to tank since he would no longer be around to boost sales.
He was a High Priest and an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints for most of his life, with a few legendary lapses, which the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have ruled top secret and classified. Suffice it to say that Russ was very thankful for the gift of repentance and the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Russ’s life is detailed in three volumes of his life history which he authored himself: Moose Tracks: The Secret History of the Jones Family in Victor, Idaho; Moose Tracks: The Surly Missionary; and Moose Tracks: Going Over the Top. Russ always claimed that these volumes are at least 50 percent true.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Kenneth and Vernile Paul, and two sisters, Cathy and Annie.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Meridian; daughters--Heather (Matt) Longhurst of Auburn, WA, Natalie (Coby) Page of Peoria, AZ, Katie Jo (Brandon) Huerta of Boise, and Suzanne (Nate) Scrivner of Boise; 11 grandchildren--Cora, Sydney and Maryn Longhurst; Tyler, Zachary, Eva and Noelle Page; Dawson and Derek Huerta; Elias and Wesley Scrivner; and a brother; Thomas Elmer (Neri) Jones of Tetonia, Idaho.
A viewing will be held under the direction of Relyea Funeral Chapel on Monday, September 14th from 6-7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be Tuesday, September 15th at 11:00 a.m. at Relyea Funeral Chapel (live streaming available at www.releafuneralchapel.com) with burial in the Victor Cemetery in Victor, Idaho on September 16th at 11 a.m.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 9/15/2020 at 10:55 AM, Mountain Standard Time.
To send flowers to Gerald's family, please visit our floral store.