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Friday, December 15, 2023
6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)
Saturday, December 16, 2023
10:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)
Saturday, December 16, 2023
11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)
Thomas Llewellyn Jones Jr. graduated in the early morning hours of Friday, December 8, 2023, after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Born June 2, 1936, at Columbia Hospital for Women, Washington, D.C., to Thomas Llewellyn Jones Sr. and Sylvia Geraldine Bridwell Jones, he was an only child until his world was rocked by the introduction of a better model, his sister Mardonne.
Tom was always working, from a more than 500-paper paper route as a kid to the train yards of D.C. as a young man. He loved the water, having grown up rowing eight-oar shells with friends under the tutelage of the legendary Charlie Butt on the Potomac River. This crew would go on to compete and win rowing championships around the East, culminating in an invite to the summer Olympics (Dad was an alternate owing to him going to medical school). He also had time for loads of shenanigans with his friends, Paul Beachem, Phil Shade, John Van Dyke, Cecil Jacobsen, and Ellsworth Knudson — all but one of whom he outlived. Their stories are legendary.
Tom attended Washington-Lee High School and Brigham Young University. He served a mission in the California-Nevada Mission, including a year-long transfer serving the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone People of Northern Nevada for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he was a life-long member. From his mission experience, his love for the lived experience of Native Americans, their stories, rituals, and culture sprung.
Thomas met the love of his life, Patricia Joe Ward, while waiting to pick up her sister for a date at BYU. His future mother-in-law helped him understand that “this is the one.” Around this time, his father arranged a meeting with the Director of the Medical School at George Washington University. Tom took the meeting and had a wonderful talk about rowing and kayaking for 2-3 hours. After this interview, Tom thanked the director for the talk and started to walk out of the office. The director stopped Tom and asked him to come to medical school that fall but that he needed to complete a couple of courses in chemistry, biology, and anatomy, take the MCAT, and come in the fall of the next year ready to go.
After having spent a summer working for his future father-in-law on his Idaho farm, Tom realized his true calling was not farming. Tom and Patty Joe were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on June 28, 1962.
He attended The George Washington University School of Medicine, admitted during a program in which they were trying to build a more well-rounded doctor from a variety of backgrounds. Otherwise, he was on the fast track for Organizational Business through a program at UCLA and Stanford. He earned his medical degree in 1965, followed by a residency at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.
During Vietnam, Tom was a Captain in the Navy assigned to the Marines, where it took forever for them to figure out who he was and where he was supposed to be stationed. One day he was fed up with not knowing his fate and having only one uniform. Wearing his Navy Dress, he walked from his little house at Camp Lejeune, NC (this sent folks into a tizzy as Navy Dress in the family housing section meant someone’s loved one had met their demise) trying to find answers. He was called in and found to not have orders. A quick search was completed, orders found, and he was shortlisted for the front lines. This is what happens when someone sticks your file sideways in a drawer. After a short conversation in which his CO found out he had a family, with a boy and one on the way, and that he was a doctor, he was officially transferred to his current station and finished his service at Camp Lejeune.
Tom and Patty Joe had and raised six boys and one girl, as well as many dogs, cats, bunnies iguanas, hamsters, and more. A rambunctious bunch of daredevils and double-darers, many broken bones were wrapped, cuts butterflied, and ears taped on the kitchen table or in the field as they occurred. Their home was open to all, with a do-drop-in policy that meant more than one person found refuge under the stairs (the quietest place) for a while.
Tom loved his family. Although being a doctor meant long hours and sometimes not much sleep, he would come home and throw a pillow in the middle of the floor, letting his kids climb all over him. He used to pay them a penny a minute to tickle his tired feet, increasing to a nickel a minute to keep them interested as they got older and so did his feet. In the pool, he was the whale the kids would try to hold onto as he dived from shallow to deep end and back. You had to hang on or let go at your peril!
To keep his family and church obligations aligned, Tom was a Scout Master for more than 30 years. His boys (and girl) and hundreds of others over the years learned to always be prepared. Not only was he an Eagle Scout, but as an adult he earned the rank of Silver Beaver for his contributions to scouting – which his nurses found humorous given his occupation as an OB/GYN. He invented many games and built numerous pinewood derby cars, klondike sleds, river rafts, and outback toilets. On the finer side, he and Patty enjoyed many adventures together, sailing the Bermuda Triangle, trips to Europe, and choir trips around the world when Patty was part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
An OB/GYN, Tom brought thousands of babies into this world. He was a partner in Western Obstetrics & Gynecology in Murray, Utah, with privileges at Cottonwood Hospital and St. Mark’s Hospital. After retiring from medicine, he and Patty served a mission in Northern Mexico, where Tom was a one-man HMO for the area’s more than 2,000 missionaries. Their 1986 Vanagon served them well, making it back to Nephi before giving up the ghost and their children insisting on picking them up.
After Patty’s death due to metastatic breast cancer in 2010, Tom thought he might remain a bachelor for the duration. He continued his second medical career in administrative medicine with the Utah Department of Health, and kept busy with church, wondering if he might end up accidentally engaged after sacrament meeting. But fate stepped in, and he met and married Elisabeth Thompson Long on Nov. 5, 2013. At their ceremony in the Salt Lake Temple, an officiant was moved to tell them that their deceased spouses “had something to do with this.”
Tom and Elisabeth enjoyed many happy years, including a honeymoon in Hawaii and family trips to the Outer Banks and Virginia, and back to Hawaii many times. Their joyful time together was a balm for the spouses they both lost too soon. All of their children are grateful for the tender care and love they showed each other during their time together.
Preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Patricia Joe (Ward) Jones, and his son, Jared Gethin; his second wife Elisabeth’s children Mindy and Michael. Survived by his sister, Mardonne (Richard) Neiman; his children Tom, Lara, Josh (Lisa), Ben, Jesse (Erika), and Zach (Kelly); Elisabeth and her children, Tyler, Jen (Gary), Emery and Kelly; and 25 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.
Family and friends are invited to a viewing from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15, at Cottonwood Stake Center, 1830 E. 6400 S., Salt Lake City. A memorial service will held at the same place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, with a family viewing an hour prior. Burial will take place at Memorial Holladay Cemetery, 4900 S. Memory Lane, Holladay. Mortuary services by Memorial Holladay-Cottonwood Mortuary, 4670 S. Highland Dr., SLC.