Joe Michael “Mike” Jones, age 64, and Patricia Lynn Jones, age 65, died tragically on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 in an auto accident near Miami on January 5th, 2021 while doing what they loved, roaming the country.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Pat was swept away into the world by a young, wild-eyed Marine that later became her husband. Born in Amarillo and raised in Texarkana, Mike was in Memphis for Marine Corps training when he was smitten by a blue-eyed southern girl who later became his wife.
They were dedicated to their son in ways that weren’t always obvious. To get him into a better school, they exchanged a paid-for home in the city for a trailer in the middle of an untamed forest that required countless hours of clearing where they once almost started a forest fire when a “controlled burn” became an “uncontrolled burn”. Mike lived every day as an example of being strong enough and disciplined enough to do what needed doing. Pat was a never-ending lesson on how love and compassion improve the world. Heart and head. Unyielding and forgiving. Hard and soft. That was Dad and Mom.
After their son left, they spent their time as most folk do, working and enjoying each other. They did take on a new project, though: the missionaries of the local LDS church. Regularly inviting this rotating band of strangers from far away into their home for some food, companionship, and relaxation, they eased these travel-weary hearts a little taste of home.
Retiring early, they swapped a home full of years of accumulation for an RV and started to live their dream retirement. With a jeep in tow, they set off across the country. They saw most of it. In recent years, they tended to stay close to Florida where they spent every single holiday and most weekends with their son, a daughter-in-law that they virtually adopted, and a couple of granddaughters.
They died as they lived. Together and doing what mattered most to them.
Preceded into death by Mike’s parents, Exa and Lamon; Pat’s parents, Faye and D.R.; Mike’s sister, Beth; and Pat’s sister, Donna. Survived by Mike’s sister, Judy; and Pat’s sister, Judith; their son, Jeremiah; their “adopted” daughter, Cristina; three granddaughters, Annabel, Veronica, and Cristina Patricia; and many many nieces and nephews.
Visitation (come as you are) will be available on Friday, January 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at Texarkana Funeral Home, 3515 Texas Blvd. Funeral services will be Saturday at 10:00 a.m. followed immediately by interment at Memorial Gardens.
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