COOPERSTOWN – David Jones, husband of Lynn Richards Jones, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2020, at his home in the Village of Cooperstown. A retired English and American Studies teacher, he taught at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, and the Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 78.
Born on March 10, 1942, in Albany, David was one of three children of Louis Clark Jones, Ph.D., and the former Hazel “Billie” Williams. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1947, not long after his father was named director of the New York State Historical Association.
David attended Cooperstown Central School and later transferred to The Putney School in Vermont. After graduating from Putney, David studied theater at Boston University before transferring to Hiram College, where he received a B.A. in English in 1966.
During his years in Cooperstown, he met Lynn Richards, daughter of long-time residents William Richards and the former Wanda Olmstead. On Aug. 27, 1966, David and Lynn were married at The Cornwallville Church at The Farmers’ Museum. Following the ceremony, they rode by oxcart to Bump Tavern for the reception.
From September 1966 until February 1968, David attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a master’s degree in English. In March 1968 he enlisted in the Air Force, attained the rank of staff sergeant and served as a chaplain’s services specialist. In 1971, David and his family moved to the Millbrook School where he taught English, coached baseball and skiing, and served in various administrative capacities. He also continued course work toward his Ph.D. in English at Drew University and, later, at the University of Miami.
In 1976, David accepted a position to teach English at Saint Andrew’s School. He served as the department chair, introduced American Studies to the curriculum, developed an English as a Second Language summer program for international students, and coached baseball and women’s cross country. He is remembered as a kind, compassionate, and inspiring teacher, coach, and dorm parent. He retired as a Master Teacher.
David loved teaching. Over the span of more than three decades, he became well-respected and admired by students, faculty and parents alike. He was known for his wit and for gently guiding his students’ understanding of literature and writing.
In addition to his teaching career, David worked in educational software development for IBM, training teachers and assessing communications programs. He revised the “IBM Style Guide for Educational Software” and wrote textbooks for the Lawrenceville Press. He also wrote an introduction to Susan Fenimore Cooper’s “Rural Hours” for Syracuse University Press.
In 2001, David, an avid bicyclist, was in training for a 575-mile AIDS benefit ride in Montana when he was struck from behind by a van and thrown from his bike. He lay unconscious in a Delray Beach hospital for nearly two weeks. He gradually improved, but sadly realized he could no longer teach. It was noted that a brain injury seemed a particularly cruel offense to a man known for the depth and subtlety of his mind. In 2004, he and Lynn returned to Cooperstown and made their home on Elm Street.
David is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lynn, of Cooperstown; their two sons and daughters-in-law, Matthew William Richards Jones, MD, and Cora Vegafria Jones of Cooperstown, and Jeremy Louis Clark Jones and Katherine Janiec Jones, Ph.D. of Boiling Springs, S.C.; four grandchildren, Molly Foard Jones, Phoebe Lynn Emerson Jones, Isabella Grace Richards Jones, and William David Maxwell Jones; a sister, Carol Loomis of Winthrop, Mass.; a sister-in-law, Elisabeth Richards Jerson and husband, Robert Jerson of Springfield Center; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and stepmother, Agnes Halsey Jones, David was predeceased by a brother, Peter Jones and a brother-in-law, Raymond Loomis.
David will eventually be laid to rest in the Pickens Family plot in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.
As a way to remember David, please consider a memorial gift to the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326. https://sqspca.org/support/make-a-donation/.
Arrangements are under the care of Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.