Allen Clay Jones
Allen Clay Jones of Cherokee County passed away on Wednesday, February 10th at UT Health East Texas Hospital, Tyler, at the age of 86.
He was born on September 18, 1934 in the family farmhouse off FM 724 south of Hudson Chapel just north of the big curve, to Johnson Minton Jones and Duluth M. Brooks. He went to the Holcomb School and Rusk Junior High and worked with his parents and grandparents growing tomatoes, peas, and just about every other crop.
Clay, a member of the Rusk High School Class of 1953, lived a full life. He worked at Bearden’s and Coleman’s Lumber while completing a 2-year degree at Tyler Junior College. After working a year at Rusk State Hospital, he moved to Houston in the summer of 1957. He first moved into the Downtown YMCA and then a boarding house while he worked for oilman Charles Wrightsman, and simultaneously on a degree in accounting at the University of Houston. He married Linda Sisco in December 1959. His first son Byron was born in October 1960 and second son Scott was born in 1962.
He joined Humble Oil Company in September 1966 at the age of 31. His job took him from Houston to West Orange, New Jersey while he commuted to Humble office in Manhattan from 1968 to 1970. The family had lots of great adventures living in New England - fishing the lakes, seeing the historical areas, and going to Yankee baseball games. In 1970, he moved his family back to Houston and worked in the downtown Exxon Building. He began work for Esso Eastern in 1971. The family remained in Houston for 10 more years but visited his parents on the farm often. He taught his sons to fish and how to play baseball and he enjoyed being an assistant Little League coach. During this time, Clay traveled often to East and Southeast Asia for his work. In 1980, he and Linda moved to Jakarta, Indonesia where he worked for P.T. Stanvac oil & gas company.
Byron and Scott were lucky to have the opportunity to travel to Indonesia during that period to see Clay and Linda and so many wonderful sites in that part of the world. Clay and Linda would likewise visit his mother Duluth at the farm each spring, where his sons would join him working on the pine trees and in the fields.
In 1987 at the age of 53, he and Linda returned to the United States. Clay and Linda lived in New Jersey and Houston until he retired in 1993 at the age of 59. Clay and Linda returned to Cherokee County and to what he loved to do best, growing fruits and vegetables. His idea of a “garden” was ½ acre minimum. He was always giving away tomatoes, beans, peas, onions, peppers, and you name it. He built a home on his old boyhood place and grew timber on most of the old fields and pasture. He sure loved his dogs – he never could say no to a stray – and the birds and deer he fed. After he could no longer garden due to ailments, those dogs and the other feathered and furry critters gave him much pleasure. He also enjoyed cooking and loved to provide meals to visiting family – they cannot recall a bad meal.
Preceded in death by his former wife Linda; father Minton; mother Duluth; and sister Mary. Survived by sons Byron and Scott; daughters-in-law Amy and Toni; nephew John; grandson Nolan and wife Heidy; and granddaughters Kelsi, Jessica, and Alexandra.
The family will hold a private internment service this spring where they will place his ashes between his parent’s graves at Shiloh Cemetery west of Alto.
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