Cover photo for Thomas Nance Jones's Obituary
1950 Thomas 2021

Thomas Nance Jones

February 22, 1950 — November 10, 2021

Thomas Nance Jones - dedicated dad, fisherman and attorney-at-law - passed away in the comfort of his home in Albuquerque, NM, on Nov. 10, 2021.

Tom was born on Feb. 22, 1950 in Marshalltown, IA, to Dorothalee "Lee" Nance and Norman "Nick" Jones and grew up in Lima, OH. He is survived by his wife, Patty Schoonover Jones, who he married June 11, 1977; three children, Alex Jones, Mally Jones, and Nash Jones, and their partners Marcella Jones, Ben Price, and Abigail McNamara; two grandchildren, Pearl Jones and Arlo Price-Jones; and his sister, Janet Jones, of Kalamazoo, MI.

Tom earned a Bachelor's degree at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN, where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He moved to Albuquerque in 1972 to attend graduate school at the University of New Mexico. He was a dissertation short of earning a PhD in Psychology when he interned at the New Mexico State Penitentiary and realized he'd rather work to keep people out of the prison system than work within it. He graduated from UNM Law in 1978 and worked as a private practice attorney - first in criminal defense and then civil litigation - until retirement. He told Patty of why he chose private practice: "if I ask the boss if I can go fishing, he always says yes."

Tom's favorite pastime was trolling for salmon on Navajo Lake with his buddies, who even named an area there "Jones Cove" after him. His other favorite place was Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, where he often visited and tried to convince Patty to move to when their kids were grown. He was a gardener and renowned for his home-grown chile powder, "Ass in the Tub Killer Mix." He had beloved and remarkably-trained canine companions through the years who never left his side, including Cisco, Mancha and Wylie.

As a young man he was a Boy Scout and an athlete, taking the Lima Senior Spartans to the semi-finals of the 1968 state basketball tournament. He went on to coach his kids in the game, turning the lights off in the garage so they'd learn to dribble without looking at the ball. The pinnacle of his coaching career was winning the 1999 AYBL championship. Tom and Patty were also longtime UNM Lobos season ticket holders.

Tom balanced his athleticism with staggering intellect. He learned to speed read as a boy at the YMCA in Lima and devoured books until the end of his life. He had a wealth of knowledge - "a jack of all trades, a master of none" - and never lost a game of Jeopardy! from behind his desk at home. His kids will miss having him to turn to for answers and advice as they navigate the world.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to Roadrunner Food Bank.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Nance Jones, please visit our flower store.


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