Wayne Gene Jones, 81, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully at home on Aug. 16, 2020.
Wayne was born on Oct. 14, 1938, on the Whistle Creek bench near Penrose, Wyoming, the second of three children born to Ralph and Vivian (Webber) Jones. He was preceded in death by his loving wife and both of his parents.
He attended school in Byron, graduated from both NWCC in Powell and from the University of Wyoming. Wayne competed in state and national FFA crop and livestock showing and judging.
Wayne married Gail Johnson on June 19, 1959, in the Salt Lake City temple. At the time of his death they had just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. They were blessed with four children. The couple lived in Laramie until Wayne graduated from the University of Wyoming, then moved to Riverton, and a few years later they moved back to Byron. They settled in Powell, where they raised their family and would spend the next 25 years. After spending another 25 years in Salt Lake City, they returned to Powell in 2016.
Wayne held a special place in the hearts of all who knew him. He had a way of seeing the positive side of things even when others thought otherwise. If you wondered how deep your friendship with him was, you only had to think about the most recent practical joke, courtesy of Wayne. While Ruth Goller might not have immediately recognized the live goat staked to her front lawn celebrating her 50th birthday as a sign of friendship, she eventually came around. Wayne’s sisters have experiences too numerous to mention that have left a lifelong special relationship with “chickens.” He had a love for life and lived it to the fullest. Wayne possessed an infectious and unmistakable charisma and made people around him feel special.
Wayne was an active member of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in many leadership and teaching callings. He grew close to those with whom he served and particularly loved the youth as seminary teacher, bishop and scoutmaster. He earned a graduate degree in soil science and was an avid gardener.
He is survived by children Jeffrey (DeAnn) Jones of Stafford, Virginia; Angela (Randy) Feusner of Cody, Wyoming; Crystal (Dennis) Eden of Powell; and Eric (Brenda) Jones of Sycamore, Illinois. He will also be missed by 17 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. His sisters, Wanda White and Bonnie Ruiz, and brother-in-law Richard Ruiz, all of Salt Lake City, Utah, also survive him.
Services to honor Wayne will be held in the 525 West 7th Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 11 a.m. The livestream will be viewable on the Thompson Funeral Home & Cremation Services’ Facebook page. Viewing will be at Thompson Funeral Home on Friday, Sept. 4, from 6 to 6:45 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10 a.m., prior to the service at the chapel. Burial will follow at the Penrose Cemetery.