Ronald A. Jones of Silver Spring and formerly Mt. Airy, Maryland, champion of children, adoring and adored father and grandfather, and unwavering friend, died peacefully on the morning of July 14. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Kelli M. Phillips and grandchildren, Bethany M. Ferrick and Jack H. Phillips. He is also survived by his sister, Ms. Barbara Dolch, brother, Mr. Victor Allen Jones, Jr. (Chip), as well as very close cousins, nieces and nephews, friends, and thousands of former students, athletes, and colleagues whose lives he positively influenced.
Ron Jones died of a subdural hematoma resulting from a fall on Fathers’ Day on June 16, 2019. After a short time in the hospital and an acute rehabilitation nursing facility, Mr. Jones spent his final week at Casey House of Montgomery Hospice surrounded by friends and family. Especially during that week at Casey House, Mr. Jones was able to exchange thoughts, memories, laughter, and important messages with some of the key people in his life.
Ron Jones was born on May 10, 1943 to Victor and Dorothy Jones and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland where he developed life-long friendships. He dedicated his professional life to improving the quality of children’s lives. He was instrumental in working with Ken Hobson and Hank Fricke in building what is now the Maplewood Athletic Association, where he coached kids in myriad sports and built the capacity of others to become coaches and umpires to continue to help more youth develop skills, relationships, confidence, and positive identities. His work with Maplewood and the Montgomery County Recreation Department, complemented his 30-year career as a teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Throughout his career, he taught all subjects to kindergartners through high-schoolers. He worked with students who were highly gifted; severely physically, mentally, and emotionally challenged, and everyone in between. He coached thousands of kids in football, softball, baseball, basketball, track, and any other sport where there was an interest or a need. He mentored countless aspiring and student teachers. Contributions to children during the school year never seemed to be enough for Ron Jones, so he managed swimming pools with youth programs. He also he launched two summer camps for students. The first, Camp Sam Clemens, part of his Masters in Education program, was designed specifically to meet the needs of students who had experienced trauma. Later, with the assistance of his wife Carol, he developed Camp Progress, a sports, academics, and character-building camp open to all students, which was based at multiple elementary schools and the Lathrop E. Smith Center. The philosophy of both camps reflected Mr. Jones’ deeply-held belief that each child needs to experience meaningful success every day.
The only thing more important to Ron Jones than enhancing the lives of children, was being there for his friends and family, and even strangers or animals in need. Mr. Jones was truly the person anyone could call in the middle of the night for a conversation, or to ask for him to hop in the car and come to the rescue. He was known for being late because he had to stop to change someone’s tire, or for being a little tired in the morning after going to a friend’s house in the middle of the night to just talk or be there as a friend. He would stop traffic to help a stranded turtle get across the road. He adopted a four-week old puppy he saw running from a dumpster late at night.
The love of Ron Jones’ life was his wife, Carol J. Jones. They grew up in the same neighborhood. They reunited at a high-school reunion many years later, began dating, and fell deeply in love. They were married on July 11, 1986. She died on January 15, 2002. Ron Jones never really recovered. All the days and months after Carol Jones’ death, Ron Jones looked forward to being reunited with Carol in heaven. During his last week, he took great comfort in the belief that he would soon be with her.
Services to celebrate the life of Ron Jones will be held on September 15, 2019 at 12:00 noon at the Lathrop E. Smith Center, at 5110 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855. Guests are asked to bring any photos, printed stories, written notes, or quotes, which will become part of a scrapbook for his daughter and grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, you are invited to make a donation of time or money to make the world a better place. His family has identified Canines for Disabled Kids (CDK) as one charity to consider. The work of this charity combines Ron Jones’ commitment to children along with his great love of dogs.The mission of CDK is “increasing independence for children with disabilities and their families by promoting service dog partnerships, understanding and awareness throughout the community.” This spirit embraces Mr. Jones’ commitment to every child experiencing meaningful success every day.
Donations can be made via their website: www.caninesforkids.org or by mail:
Canines for Disabled Kids
65 James Street, Suite 210
Worchester, MA 01603