Cover photo for W. Jones's Obituary
1921 W. 2021

W. Jones

June 9, 1921 — January 29, 2021

After 99 years of faithful service and dedication, Willard LeRoss Jones was called home on January 29, 2021, surrounded by his family on his farm in Virden, New Mexico. LeRoss was born in the beautiful Virden Valley on June 9, 1921 to Willard and Edna Payne Jones, faithful pioneers who gave him a noble heritage he was always proud of. LeRoss joined four sisters and was followed by four brothers. He loved farming. At age 5, he was helping his father harness horses to draw the hand plow. By the time of his death, he was watching his son and grandsons farm the same piece of ground with satellite-controlled machinery. His early days were filled with milking cows and growing potatoes. He learned the value of hard work and honest living and applied this throughout his life. He graduated from Virden High School in 1938 in a class of 13 students. In 1940, he was called to the Central States Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he tasted the joy of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. He served many years as a Stake Missionary and served missions in his later years with his wife, Mabel, in Pennsylvania and Mexico City. During WWII, he was asked to remain on the farm to support the war efforts while his younger brothers served. During this time, he met his eternal companion, Elizabeth Ison, on a blind date at a "White Christmas" Dance. That has always been their song. Gas and tires were rationed, so their courtship consisted of letters, bus rides, and long strolls around the Mesa Arizona Temple grounds, where they were married for time and all eternity on August 11, 1944. They returned to the farm in Virden to start their life together, living their first summer in a small adobe home on the farm that had no electricity, no running water, and no indoor plumbing. They always said that was a happy, peaceful, carefree time. LeRoss and Elizabeth were blessed with eight children who were the focal point of their lives. One baby daughter, Elizabeth, was called home at birth. LeRoss is now finally able to get to know his precious daughter. Nothing made him happier than having his family together while they tried to live the principles of the gospel. His life revolved around family, church, and the farm. In 1983, his beloved wife, Elizabeth, passed away. He married Mabel Stratton Ison on June 16, 1984. They were proud of their large, blended posterity and treated them as one big family. Their Christlike examples of love for others and dedication to the Savior continue to bless many lives. LeRoss often told his children, "Your life is what you make it," and he made his a good one! LeRoss was always involved in community and civic affairs. He was on the Board of Directors at Western Bank in Lordsburg for many years. He found great joy in serving in the Church. He was a Teacher, High Councilor, Stake Missionary, Bishop of the Virden Ward, and the first Patriarch in the Duncan Arizona Stake. He and Mabel served in the Mesa Arizona Temple for over 20 years. For five years, they drove 400 miles weekly to and from Mesa to serve in the Temple, returning to Virden on the weekends to give Patriarchal Blessings. Eventually, they purchased a home near the Temple and moved to Mesa in 1997, where they loved associating with new friends and serving in the Udall Ward. His love of farming followed him to Mesa, where he farmed his whole back yard, sharing produce and sweet peas with family and friends. He loved serving others. He was a gifted poet and wrote dozens of tender poems honoring friends and neighbors over the years. He appreciated good music and enjoyed sharing his musical talents by singing in numerous quartets, performing beautiful solos, and singing old songs with his children and grandchildren. He and Mabel were often asked to entertain at various events with her accordion and his harmonica. He was blessed to spend the final two years of his life back on his beloved farm in Virden. His love for the farm never faded, and he enjoyed going for rides around the fields to observe the crops and the operations. In his 99 years, he was completely dedicated to the Lord in all that he said and did. His greatest desire was to love and serve as the Savior did. He was a gentle, kind and loving leader in his home, in the church, and in his associations with all. His life can be summed up by the words in 2 Timothy 4:7: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." LeRoss was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, his wife Elizabeth, a baby daughter, a daughter-in-law, one grandson and two great-grandsons. He is survived by his wife Mabel, his seven children: Wendell Jones, Bethleen (Jon) Swapp, Marilyn (Lorin) Price, Eloise (Russell) Gardiner, Stanfird (Charlene) Jones, Melody (Russ) Richins, and Dawnell (Anthon) McLaws, 37 grandchildren, 110 great-grandchildren, 27 great-great-grandchildren and one 3rd great-grandchild. Services will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2021, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Duncan Stake Center, with the viewing at 9:00 a.m. and the funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m. The interment will be held at the Virden Cemetery located in Virden, New Mexico following services. A live stream of the service will be held on The McDougal's Caldwell Funeral Chapel Facebook page.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of W. Jones, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Photo Gallery

Visits: 17

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree