EAST WENATCHEE, Wash. — A leader in northern Columbia Basin agriculture, Jack Edwin Jones, was honored by family and friends at a memorial service.
Jones, 73, Wenatchee, died March 13 from an extended illness. The March 27 memorial service was held at Eastmont Baptist Church in East Wenatchee, followed by a reception at Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee.
Jones was co-owner of Jones Produce, a fruit and vegetable company with family roots to the 1950s, and was founder and owner of Jones of Washington, a winery and vineyard he started in 2001. Both companies are in Quincy, 30 miles southeast of Wenatchee.
“He was very familiar with risk and when he made a mistake, he didn’t let it get him down. He would always move on,” said Mike Scott, former vice president of Jones Fruit & Produce.
“He was willing to experiment for awhile, but he wanted to move on into large production of whatever it was. He had lots of Red Delicious, lots of asparagus, onions and potatoes. In each of those enterprises, he was big enough for any one person,” Scott said.
Jones was among the first in the Quincy area to grow asparagus, red d’Anjou pears, blueberries and wine grapes, Scott said.
“The people throughout all of Jack’s companies will be committed to continuing Jack’s legacy. He was just, fair and tried to treat people right,” said Glen Goodman, business associate of the Jones Group of Companies.
Jones was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1941. His family moved to Quincy in 1954 as one of many families making new farms from sagebrush lands due to the arrival of irrigation water from the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project.
The family grew potatoes east of George and operated a potato packing shed in Winchester, east of Quincy.
Jones married Patricia Flanagan in 1969 and joined his father-in-law, Sid Flanagan, a state legislator, in farming. They grew sugar beets and forages for their feedlot. Jones eventually bought the business from Flanagan and then rejoined his brothers, Mike and Larry, to form Jones Produce in 1983.
They raised potatoes, beans, peas, corn, onions, alfalfa and other crops. Jones became interested in tree fruit in the early 1980s, planting an apple orchard and expanding into cherries and pears. He developed relationships with Orondo Fruit, Washington Cherry Growers and Domex Super Fresh Growers.
Enjoying challenges, Jones designed and planted his first wine grape vineyards on the Wahluke Slope in 1997. He started his winery in 2001.
Jones of Washington now offers more than 15 varietals, sold in 14 states. The company was named Washington Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest in 2012.
In 2008, Jones of Washington and Shaw Vineyards established a grape crushing plant near in Mattawa. J&S Crushing is now one of the region’s larger grape processors.
Jones’ son, Greg, manages the family’s vineyards. His son, Jeff, manages other crops for Jones Produce. His daughter, Megan, works in marketing at Jones of Washington and his daughter, Maureen, works in special events.
His brother, Mike, continues as president of Jones Produce.