I normally write about Dartmouth history and archaeology. Today, I am mourning the death of my Grandad, David Jones, who made a great contribution to Dartmouth over the last 58 years, and, as a tribute to him, I have written the following obituary:
JONES, David Ignatius – David Ignatius Jones, Q.C., a loving and devoted father, husband and brother, died Thursday, March 2, 2017, in the Admiral Long Term Care facility, Dartmouth.
David Jones was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on January 3, 1928, to Alexander William Jones and Lillian (nee Lyons) Jones. David is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, F. Marie (nee Martin) Jones, daughter of Frank and Minnie Martin; his son, Martin Jones (Ann); his daughter, Dr. Teresa Dykeman (Paul); his daughter Angela Jones-Rieksts (Mark); his daughter, Marie Moir (Matthew); and 14 grandchildren: David Jones, Catherine Jones, Dr. Jonathan Dykeman (Meghan), Cassandra Dykeman, Foster Wright, Marie Wright, Meaghan Wright, Markus Rieksts, Cecilia Riesksts, Anna Rieksts, David Rieksts, Joseph Rieksts, Paula Moir, James Moir and great-grandchild Gideon Dykeman.
He is survived by brother-in-law Gerald Martin and sisters-in-law Frances Giovannetti, Evelyn Fay and Anne Jones. David is also survived by many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and their extended families. He was predeceased by his parents, Alexander William Jones, K.C., and Lillian Jones, and his parents-in-law Frank and Minnie Martin. David was the last to survive of his many brothers and sisters: Lilian Ann, Mary Patricia, Alexander Joseph, Madeleine Agatha, Humphrey Aloysius, Lilian Agatha, Elizabeth Ann, the Hon. Malachi Cornelius, Rose Marie and Mary Elizabeth. He was predeceased by two caring and beautiful children; son David Martin Jones and daughter Paula Jones-Wright (Doug).
Grandad was a graduate of Saint Mary’s University (B.A., 1951) and Dalhousie Law School (LL.B., 1956). He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1957, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1973. He was active in the practice of law for over 50 years, and retired as a partner, having worked with his son Martin, in the Dartmouth law firm Russell Piggott Jones, previously Anderson Huestis Jones.
David was Vice-Chairman of the Halifax Port Corporation from April 1994 to March 1999 and was an active member of the Provincial and Federal Liberal Associations.
Grandad served his community and profession in past years as a member of the Barristers’ Society’s Committee for Establishment of Nova Scotia Legal Aid; Chairman of the Dartmouth Regional Vocational School Board and a member of the Board of Governors of Saint Mary’s University. He was active in Credit Unions and Co-operatives and was a former President of Harbour City Credit Union.
“Big Dave” also served as an Executive Member of Banook Canoe Club, and was a founding Director of the Society for Canoe Championships. As a lawyer, he incorporated the East Preston Day Care Centre. He was the only lay Honourary Member of the Police Association of Nova Scotia. He was a member of Dartmouth Council 3133 of the Knights of Columbus for over 40 years and was also a director of the Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre for 5 years.
David was a former Chairman of Saint Peter Parish Council, Dartmouth, Choir Member, Cantor and Catechist.
Grandad grew up with his large family on the beautiful Bedford Basin in Rockingham, Nova Scotia. He was a proud direct descendant of Captain Jonathan Jones, first Loyalist settler of Baddeck, N.S. David and his wife, F. Marie (nee Martin) Jones, proudly resided in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for the full length of their adoring marriage. Their children have all raised their own families in Dartmouth. Born a proud Rockinghammer, he died as an even prouder Dartmouthian!
In retirement, Mr. Jones could be found sitting on his Prince Albert Road porch, watching the comings and goings of picturesque Sullivan’s Pond. In 2014, a Google Street View camera captured a classic Dartmouth scene: David asleep in his outdoor chair!
Although noted for his selfless community contributions, Mr. Jones will be remembered most for his unwavering love for his wife, children and grandchildren. David enjoyed countless hours as a spectator at the hockey rink, canoe club, ball field, recital hall or gym. Mr. Jones, until the last few years of his life, was blessed with a remarkable memory. He could recall events and names, at the drop of a hat, from fifty years or seventy years earlier. His personality was magnetic and he loved to dance and listen to music, especially Elton John, Stevie Wonder and the Eagles. He could play any song on the chromatic harmonica and, even in recent years, could match note-for-note Stevie’s rendition of Isn’t She Lovely.
The highlight of David’s life was his fifty-eight year marriage to his “bride” Marie, a term he used until his passing. He loved his in-laws, Frank and Minnie Martin and they loved him as much as his bride. Marie’s devotion to him was unequalled, especially during the last two years as nursing home residents. They always reminisced about Mount Saint Vincent University days, the Martin camp at Burnside, summers with family on the beach at Pictou and Prince Edward Island, Sunday drives which could end up in Yarmouth, Amherst or Antigonish, and big family dinners and parties. They often laughed about his younger 5BX and jogging days, when the infamous geese of Sullivan’s Pond would chase him in his blue Adidas running suit.
During his last two years of declining health, his family appreciated the support and kindness of the staff at both Northwood and the Admiral.
Visitation will take place Monday from 2- 4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Dartmouth Funeral Home, 29 Queen Street. A funeral mass will be held in Saint Peter Church, 10 Maple Street, Dartmouth, on Tuesday at 12 noon, Father Jim Richards officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the David M. Jones Scholarship Fund at Dalhousie University Law School, which was created in memory of his late son David. If you can, take a few moments of your precious time and visit family or friends who face the challenges, and often loneliness, of long-term nursing home care.