Jack E. Jones
Jack Edwin Jones, 73, was born July 15, 1941 in Twin Falls, Idaho, to Wilbur E. and Millie Foster Jones. He was the middle child, with two older sisters and two younger brothers.
The Jones family, hearing of opportunity in the Columbia Basin, relocated to Quincy in 1954. Jack participated in many school activities in addition to assisting his family on the new farm. He graduated from Quincy High School in 1959. Jack subsequently attended school in Yakima before returning home to the family farm.
The potato industry was a big part of the Jones family’s agricultural interests. Jack worked with his dad growing and packing potatoes from their Winchester location. He had supervisory responsibilities over the packing shed from 1966 to 1969.
Jack married Patricia Flanagan in 1969 and embarked on a farming partnership with his father-in-law, Sid Flanagan. The growing of forages for their feed lot and production of sugar beets were predominant responsibilities at the time. Jack eventually purchased the business from Sid and also rejoined Jones Produce with his brothers Mike and Larry in 1983. Jack and Mike continued to oversee their “Flag Ship” operation of Jones Produce to this day, including its longtime association with Progressive Produce. Though potatoes were the dominant row crop in Jack’s farming rotation, he also took pride in growing beans, peas, corn and alfalfa, among other crops. Along the way, durable relationships were forged with Quincy Farm Chemicals, Central Bean and Quincy Foods.
Jack subsequently became interested in tree fruit and planted his first apple orchard in the early 1980s. He expanded into cherries and pears and continued to pursue opportunities in the fruit industry throughout his career. He developed enjoyable relationships with Orondo Fruit, Washington Cherry Growers and Domex Super Fresh Growers.
Always looking for new challenges, Jack entered the world of viticulture in 1997. He designed and planted various “red” vineyards in the Wahluke Slope Appalachia. He also went on to establish “white” vineyards in and around the Ancient Lake Appalachia near Quincy. He made many contacts, including lasting friendships within the Chateau Ste Michelle Wine Estates family of companies.
It was clear to Jack, that with such quality estate grapes available, he should create a start-up boutique winery. Thus, in 2001 Jones of Washington was born. It released its first wine, a 2001 Merlot in 2003. Jones of Washington now offers over 15 different varietals annually and is currently available in 14 states plus the District of Columbia. Jack’s efforts were recognized in 2012 when Jones of Washington was selected as the Washington State Winery of the Year out of nearly 700 operating wineries.
Jack was really pleased with the wine industry’s response to Washington wine. Therefore, it only made sense that he start a grape-crushing plant near the Sentinel Gap in Mattawa. He was a founding partner, with Shaw Vineyards, of J&S Crushing, established in 2008. Jack thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the mighty Columbia River Valley in the autumn of each year during crush season. J&S has since gone on to become one of the largest processors of grapes in the Northwest.
Jack had a passion for farming and was a steward of resources. He was a true entrepreneur who relished taking on new projects. He wasn’t afraid of making a mistake. When he did, he learned from it and moved on. Jack always believed there was no better place to farm than the Columbia Basin. He cherished the freedom and opportunity that came with living in this great land.
Survivors include his four children, Jeff (Rose) Jones and Greg (Darby) Jones of Quincy and Maureen Jones and Megan Jones of Wenatchee, and his four grandchildren, Laurel, Bridget, Abe, and Kate.
Though he could be a “growly bear” at times, he wanted to do what was just, fair and right, and that is exactly how he treated his family, friends and co-workers. Jack will be greatly missed.
A memorial service for Jack Jones will be held at Eastmont Baptist Church, 400 S. Kentucky Ave. in East Wenatchee. Service time is 11 a.m. Friday, March 27, 2015. A reception will follow at the Pybus Market at 7 N. Worthen St. in Wenatchee. In lieu of flowers, we request that you make a donation to the Jack E. Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund, created at Columbia Basin Foundation, 234 1st Ave. N.W., Suite B, Ephrata, WA, 98823. Please mark Jack E. Jones Scholarship on your check.