Gerald N Jones, was born on 23 June 1937 to Harold Trevor Jones and Lorraine Carroll Nielsen. He was born in the Dee Hospital, Ogden, Utah. Gerald was the first of 8 children, three boys and five girls. Harold was a mail sorter and felt the family could save costs if they raised their own food. Eventually the family came to live on a 120 acre dairy farm in Pleasant View, Utah. To pay for the three mortgages on this farm (the previous owner had been very sick and could no longer handle the farm), Harold had to keep his mail sorting job and at age 14, Gerald hired out to do custom hay bailing. Many men when they saw a 14 year old boy pull in with a tractor and baler to do their hay would come over and say something like “Do you know how to run this thing?” Harold did the milking and Gerald did the farming. Hence, there was no after school sports for Gerald as he had work to do as soon as school was let out each day.
When Gerald turned 18, he had to register for the draft. Gerald discussed with his father, that if he was drafted, Harold would have to sell the farm as his father could not run it by himself. Not wanting to lose the farm after putting so much into it, Gerald signed up for the Utah National Guard so he could remain in the area. Gerald was in the Headquarters Battery of the 222nd Battalion in the Fire Control Group. Gerald graduated from high school in 1955 and started to attend Weber State College. In 1957 Gerald was called to the Norwegian Mission. He was set apart in Salt Lake, given a Norwegian to English dictionary and left for Norway in Feb 1958. He served 2½ years (he had to learn the language there, in country).
When he returned from Norway, Gerald spent some time being a lumberjack. He next attended BYU to continue his studies. He still had to fulfil his National Guard commitment and so trained with the Provo Guard. He rose to the rank of E5 (sergeant). Through a fellow guardsman (Don Olpin) Gerald was introduced to his future wife, Tanya Dillman. They dated for a few months and decided to get married. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 23 June 1961 (yes, this is his birthday. He only forgot his wedding anniversary once). Gerald continued school at BYU, Tanya taught at Lehi Jr. High. Gerald obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He worked most of his career for the Department of Defense, mainly at Naval Ordinance Test Station at China Lake, CA.
Gerald and Tanya have seven children, five boys and two girls. All stayed close to the gospel and married in the temple. Gerald retired in 2000. Tanya had always wanted to serve a mission, so they put their papers in and were called to be CES missionaries to the Institute at Victorville, CA. This mission got interrupted when some investments failed and their income was devastated.
With his mother’s passing in 2003, Gerald and Tanya inherited her place in Pleasant View – back to what was left of the dairy farm, though they no longer had a diary. In 2006 they were called on a mission to Boston for the Record Preservation Mission. Gerald’s experience with the Department of Defense in working with CCD arrays helped in developing the digital camera system and protocols for archiving these vital records. They extended a year and served for a total of three years in Boston. When they returned home they continued to serve at the Church Office Building as part time missionaries in the Family History Area to help preserve records with these digital archives.
Gerald and Tanya continued to live in Pleasant View and enjoyed their garden, their ward and their extended family. On 16 November 2020, Gerald passed away. He is survived by his wife, Tanya; his children: Trevor (DeAnn), Mylo (Anne), Niel (Betsy), Crystol Williams, AlDean (Gina), Heather Larmour (David), Hyrum (Mareah); 23 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and his siblings: Arlene Strong (Steve), Nayla Davis, Lorna Guffey (Merle), Diane Shaw, Kefford (Sherrie), Ryan (Donene), and Janell Lewis (Russell). Here are his own words:
“I have lived long enough and had enough experiences that I can witness, with certainty, that this life is in control of God the Father, with His Son, Our Savior, Jesus Christ, leading His Church and providing the tender mercies to us that we are preserved and watched over each day. We came here to learn and do what we were asked to do. That by so doing we can qualify to live with Eternal Father forever. No one ever said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it. The only real things we can do as we strive to keep the commandments is repent and forgive others. … I know that God hears prayers and that all we need to do is follow His Prophet and do what he instructs us to do to go through the challenges of the future.”
Funeral Service will be held Friday, November 20, 2020 at 11 am at the Stake Center located at 2975 N 1000 W, Pleasant View, Utah. Friends may visit with family from 10 to 10:45 am prior to the service at the Stake Center.
Interment - Ben Lomond Cemetery, North Ogden, UT
Masks are required.