Former Fort Lewis College President Joel Jones dies


Former Fort Lewis College President Joel Jones dies

Community leader, poet and philosopher and Citizen of the Year was 78

Joel Jones, former president of Fort Lewis College, dies Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Here's a look at Jones' life in the Durango community over the past years.

Memorial service

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. July 28 in the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Joel M. Jones Family Scholarship Endowment, FLC Foundation, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301; or the Mercy Health Foundation, for Hospice of Mercy, 1010 Three Springs Blvd., Durango, CO 81301.

Joel Jones Biography

Joel Mackey Jones was born to Theodore Roosfelt and Edna Mae Mackey Jones on Aug. 11, 1937, in Millersburg, Ohio.
After graduating from Chagrin Falls High School in Ohio, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1960, a Master of Arts from Miami of Ohio and a doctorate from the University of New Mexico.
His research and publications – more than 80 scholarly articles and reviews – covered topics such as American social/intellectual history, leadership training, cultural pluralism, environmental studies, educational planning and program development.
In 1972, Jones received the distinguished achievement award from the Educational Press Association of America and was named to an American Council on Education administrative fellowship, later serving on the council’s Commission on Leadership Development.
After becoming president of Fort Lewis College in 1988 and moving to Durango, Jones served on the board of First National Bank of Durango for 24 years, as well as on the boards of the Early Childhood Association of La Plata County and the Foreign Credential Services of America. Jones continued his commitment to Fort Lewis College by serving on its foundation board after his retirement in 1998 and chaired the boards of the San Juan Symphony and the Durango Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, he was appointed to the Colorado Governor’s Commission on Early Childhood Leadership.
One June 9, 1963, he married Carolyn Sue Sill.
“Although their 17-year marriage ended in divorce,” his wife, Rochelle Mann, wrote, “he always considered their two daughters to be the ‘bedrock of his existence.’”
He had three subsequent marriages. He married Nancy Magnusen on May 28, 1982, a marriage that later ended in divorce.
On Aug. 11, 1993, Jones married Julie Marie Simons.
“Julie’s death in 2001 prompted Joel to become a staunch advocate for suicide prevention and mental health services in La Plata County,” Mann wrote.
On March 11, 2006, he married his longtime friend and colleague, Rochelle Mann, who was chairwoman of the FLC Music Department at the time.
Jones is survived by his wife of 10 years, Rochelle “Shelley” Mann, of Durango; daughters Carolyn “Cammie” Nichols and Jocelyn Strauss, both of Albuquerque; sister, Judy Jones, of Eureka Springs, Arkansas; stepsons Scott Mann of Denver and Philip Mann of Little Rock, Arkansas; and seven grandchildren.
He died at his Durango home on July 13, 2016, after an 18-month battle with brain cancer.

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