Ross Jones

Obituary of Ross Jones

Ross was born in his parents’ home on Second Street on Beach Hill, 2 blocks from Main Beach. It was the beginning of Ross’ lifelong love of the ocean. As a boy, he and his friend Chub would head to the beach every morning with 15 cents in their bathing suit pockets, to buy French fries for lunch, then spend the day in and out of the water. All his life, Ross could never understand why people had to take so much gear to the beach! As he grew, his love of the ocean expanded to fishing, diving, and eventually surfing. Ross graduated Santa Cruz High School in June 1944 and immediately signed up for the Naval Reserve, to join all the other men and boys fighting for their country. He went to boot camp at Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, then was sent to the Pacific, on the aviation fuel tanker USS Anacostia. Happily, for him, the ship never met a sub or underwent shelling. Ross returned to Santa Cruz and entered San Jose State on the GI Bill. He married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Trotts; they eventually had two children, Vic Jones and Terri Lefholz. Ross graduated with a degree in art and a teaching credential. After a 3-year stint teaching in Madera, too hot for a Santa Cruz boy, he was hired by Santa Cruz City Schools, teaching first at Branciforte Middle, then finishing up his 20-year teaching career at Santa Cruz High. He loved the kids and teaching art, but felt constrained by administrative rules. While teaching, he hired a master carpenter to build a home, worked with him, and eventually became a licensed general contractor. He began building “spec” homes during each summer break. Also, while teaching, he met Chris, a new history teacher with whom he shared a “prep” period. They married in 1968, and shared multiple homes over the next 52 years. Ross was an accomplished painter, with a master’s degree from the Art Institute in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. His landscapes were displayed in various shows in Santa Cruz, Carmel, and Los Angeles, and hang in many homes in Santa Cruz County. Taking a leave of absence from teaching, Ross began a career of “spec” building—buying a lot, designing a home, building and selling each. He nearly did it all—plans, rough and finish carpentry, concrete, cabinets, painting, eventually adding electrical to his skill set. He built 50 homes, between Santa Cruz County, Brookings, OR and Arcata, CA. Ross and Chris had 2 children: Matt Jones (Christina Cost), Thornton, CO, and Amy King (Felicia Perez), Soquel. The kids learned to adjust to moving, as the family lived in a total of 13 homes as they grew up. Ross always had his eye out for another lot to build a new home. After retirement, he and Chris traveled in their RV across the US, and into Mexico and Canada. Ross loved fishing, as well as gardening, especially roses, tomatoes and vegetables. Each evening they shared a Happy Hour, either outside overlooking their roses and “perfect” lawn, or inside by a fire in the woodstove. Ross leaves Chris, his 4 children, and 6 grandchildren: Heather O’Nion, Audra Jones, Kyle King, Sophia King, Lucas Jones, and Corinne Jones. He will also be missed by cousin Dona Doyle and special friends Bill Schuette, Ron Stefani, and Tom Bargetto. Verna Lyon took good care of him as he worked through 1½ years of prostate cancer. Death came as a peaceful end to a life well lived.
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