Ancel A. Jones, 96, of O’Fallon, born Aug. 6, 1918, in Strawberry, Ark. passed from this life Monday, March 9, at Breese Nursing Home in Breese with his family by his side.
Mr. Jones started his career by joining the CCCs in 1934 as a teenager to help support his poor family of 11 brothers and sisters. In 1940 he joined the Army National Guard at Sikeston, Mo., and trained troops in the 140th Infantry which was called up for WWII. During the war and while stationed in California, Ancel met the love of his life, Irene Miller, whom he married March 13, 1943, in Santa Monica, Calif. He stayed in the service after WWII, transferring to the Air Force in 1948. He then cross-trained into the Civil Engineering field. During his 30 years of service, he was stationed at Scott AFB (3 times), Tokyo, Japan, Lajes Azores, Robert Gray AFB, Tex., Blytheville, Ark., Republic of Vietnam, Anderson AFB, Guam and many other posts during WWII. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant July 1970.
During his retirement years he became a terrific gardener and raised huge gardens that he shared with most of O’Fallon, usually distributing his produce during “happy hour” at the O’Fallon American Legion. He was always a diehard Cardinal fan; he could name most of their players since 1940. Ancel was probably O’Fallon’s greatest outdoorsman; he hunted deer in Illinois, Missouri and Maryland every year for 40 years. He and his buddies went to a Louisiana swamp rabbit hunting more than 10 times. He never missed a Missouri turkey season. He had a natural talent to train champion hunting dogs; his beagles and squirrel dogs were the best. He had a great 45-year retirement doing the things he loved. He was a member of O’Fallon Masonic Lodge AF & AM 576 and American Legion Post 137.
He was preceded in death by his parents William L. and Minerva, nee Martin, Jones; and sons, Terry Jones and Stanley Jones.
Ancel is survived by and will be dearly missed by his wife, Irene, nee Miller, Jones; sons, Gale (Jan) Jones of Leonardtown, Md., and Danny (Dawn) Jones of Carlyle; and 10 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. Ancel had 8 brothers and 3 sisters of which 5 survive him.
Memorial donations are suggested to Disabled American Veterans.
Please sign the guestbook at www.wfh-ofallon.com.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, March 12, at Wolfersberger Funeral Home, 102 W. Washington St., O’Fallon.
Funeral service will be at noon, Thursday, March 12, at the funeral home with Pastor Don Andreasen officiating.
Procession will depart the funeral home 9:15 a.m. Friday, March 13, for a graveside service with military honors at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.
Wolfersberger Funeral Home in O’Fallon handled the arrangements.