Lenox, MA – On August 4, 2023, William Francis Jones, 97, died peacefully at home surrounded by family. Bill was born July 5, 1926, in Newton, Massachusetts to Francis Perry and Esther Hayden Jones.
While attending Newton High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy, and began active service on April 12, 1944. Bill served as a rear gunner and radioman on naval aircraft until his honorable discharge on June 24, 1947. He always spoke proudly and humbly of his service during World War ll. Newton High School issued his diploma, in absentia, in June of 1944. After the war, Bill attended Syracuse University in New York State.
On May 12, 1947, Bill met his beloved wife Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Cocker on a blind date with mutual friends. Their friends never dated again, but Bill and Betty fell in love. Betty was attending nursing school at Newton Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing at the time. The couple married in Waban, MA on September 9, 1950, and Betty joined Bill in Syracuse.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1951. He went to work for Capital Finance Company, in Gloversville N.Y., and the couple moved to Gloversville. Living just ten miles south of the Adirondack Park and Great Sacandaga Lake, they spent much time camping, boating, hiking, and gardening. Bill was an avid tennis player, skier and golfer. Bill also proudly championed Betty’s many achievements as an artist. Bill soon joined NA Taylor Co., a small business in Gloversville, which manufactured awnings, and later boat windshields and accessories. Bill rose to become CEO and President, and under his leadership the business grew to international recognition. His care and respect for his employees were paramount to his management style. He retired from NA Taylor, Inc. in 1992.
Bill and Betty raised their family in Gloversville, and remained there until 2005 when they moved to Kimball Farms, a life care community, in Lenox, MA. Bill was active in both the Congregational Church in Gloversville and The Church on the Hill in Lenox. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Gloversville Federal Savings and Loan.
Bill and Betty’s 74 1/2 -year love affair is a model for all. Their dedication to each other and family impacted everyone they encountered. They said the secret to their marriage revolved around respect and honoring the good in each other, even when times got tough. They never let a day go by without a show of affection and saying “I love you”. Bill’s sense of humor and boisterous laugh will be greatly missed. He was admired for his compassion and humility. He openly expressed gratitude for his fortunate life and the love of his extended family.
Bill is predeceased by his parents Francis Perry and Esther Hayden Jones; son-in-law Jake Kachel; siblings Robert (Lorraine), Richard, and Polly Jones, and Phyllis (Charlie) Blake.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; brother, Arthur (Jean); sisters-in-law, Shirley Craighead and Lorraine Jones; and his four children Peter (Jean) Jones, Nancy (Rich) Dolge, Cynthia Jones, and Susan (Tom) Moses. His grandchildren include Rebecca Jones, Michael Jones, Joshua Jones, Latisha Jones, Kenny (Krystal) Joseph, Christopher (Sabrina) Dolge, Trevor (Julie) Dolge, Leeanne Moses, and Brady Moses. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren: Annabelle and Tyler Jones; Gianna and Isabella Lopez; Zachary Joseph; Roman, Niko, Nolan, Avery and Ari Dolge; and Makayla Jones.
A memorial service in celebration of Bill’s life will be held on August 16, 2023 at 2 pm at The Church on the Hill (Congregational) in Lenox. To share a memory of Bill, please visit www.dwyerfuneral.com In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory can be made to Soldier On, 290 Merrill Hill Road, Pittsfield, MA, 01201. Website: [email protected].