Robert E. Jones of Three Forks passed away March 26, 2023 at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Born to R. Frank and Nora D. Jones in Bozeman, August 3, 1928, he lived in Three Forks all 94 years.
At the age of 13, he worked for the Yellowstone Garage at Three Forks and there discovered his passion for mechanical repair. Graduating from Three Forks High School in 1946, he entered the Army and completed basic training in tank repair at Fort Knox, KY. World War II ended at that time and he was assigned to a high security unit for hardened prisoners at Greenville, New York. As part of a crew armed with machine guns, he helped escort 51 hardened criminals through Grand Central Station on their way to prison.
Honorably discharged in 1947, Robert returned to Three Forks and worked for Kanta Products and others until being hired to plow snow for the department of Transportation; he became a full time employee until retirement in 1979.
In 1951, he helped build the Holy Family Church and was a lifelong member of the parish. Married there in 1954 to Pat Wendel of Helena, their three sons were all baptized there.
He completed a correspondence course in civil engineering which enabled him to become supervisor of Three Forks Highway Maintenance Division, and he served 12 years in the Army Reserve.
His hobbies included fishing in home made river boats, hunting, camping and collecting Hit and Miss Stationary Engines which he would run and show to others. Acquiring 20 acres of land near Babb in Glacier National Park, he spent 10 great summers on it while overseeing the building of a cabin. Robert was a regular volunteer at the Three Forks Historical Museum.
Robert is survived by his wife Pat, his three sons Tom (Nancy) of Helena, Mike of Aurora, CO and Ted (Maeve) of Kiel, WI. Two grandsons, Craig (KD) of East Helena, and Chris (Casey) of Las Vegas. Great grandchildren Cole and Keegan Jones of East Helena and Charli and Codi of Las Vegas. He is also survived by his brother Don (Phyllis) of Redlands, CA, brother-in-law Ted Wendel (Marlys) of Ravensdale, WA and sister-in-law Jane Pilola (Jerry) of Lincoln, MT and several nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents, brother Tommy (infant), Jack (Romelle), Gerald (Carmen) and nephew John.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Family Parish in Three Forks on Monday April 3, 2023 at 10:00 am with burial at the Three Forks Cemetery at 2:00 pm. Visitation will be at K&L Mortuary on Saturday afternoon April 1 and Sunday April 2, 2023.