Leonard Jones, 86, of Whitehall, passed away July 20, 2023, of age-related causes.
Leonard Albert Jones was born October 17, 1936, in Columbia Falls, MT as the fourth child of Benjamin Franklin Jones, Jr., and Nancy Fern (McCord) Jones.
Leonard was a year old when his father died of blood poisoning, and his mother and family returned to Fairbury, Nebraska, where she could be with family. They later migrated to Ashton, Idaho, where he attended St. Anthony, Parker, and Sugar City School Systems until he was 16. He quit school and moved to Baker, Idaho, to work on a cattle ranch with his older brother Lyle and his family.
Leonard said because he was born in the Depression era, he would never get the advantage of traveling the world much, so at the age of 19, he joined the United States Airforce. He spent four years serving in Germany and France. Upon returning from his service, he attended Ricks College in Rexburg, ID.
While working in Baker, ID, he met the woman who would become his bride of over 60 years, Carolyn Hartvigson. They were married on November 21, 1962, at the local LDS church in Baker, and five years later, they were sealed for eternity in the Idaho Falls, ID LDS Temple.
Leonard was working in the dairy business, and an older fellow offered to sell his 160 acres of land bordering the great Mud Lake near Terreton, ID, to the young couple. But plans changed because Leonard developed severe allergies. After seeing numerous doctors and specialists, they determined he could not live in the area because of his allergies to the native plants.
He went back to school in Huntington Beach, California, to hone up on his electronics background. He moved the family to Soda Springs, ID, where he was a radio engineer and salesman, plus a DJ for KBRV radio. The station sold seven months later. They moved to Pocatello, ID, where he was a Tower Engineer for KEIV station. He then found employment with KXLF TV as a Tower Engineer in Butte, MT. Instead of living in Butte, they moved to the small community of Whitehall. While working for the station, he drove school buses, did custom hay swathing, and worked at a local lumber yard.
In 1975, Leonard was proud to purchase a home with 10 acres to raise their five children and bring their livestock home from Idaho. Leonard and Carolyn wanted to teach their five children to have a good work ethic by living in the country with chores to do.
After the TV station went remote, Leonard also worked as a supervisor for the Weed Spraying division of Jefferson County. He then became a full-time over-the-road trucker driving for Howard and Jim Clark, Safeway, West's Best, and S&T Trucking. He went all over the western United States and into Canada and hauled everything from cattle to groceries and everything in between.
In 1989, Leonard began working for Magnum Oil, traveling from Butte, MT, to Oklahoma weekly. He was presented with a coat in recognition of driving 2 million accident-free miles. He finally worked for Whitehall Trucking, where he retired in 2011. He frequently took his wife and children on trips with him, which everyone enjoyed.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Leonard and his wife Carolyn served three service missions for the Church. The first two were at the Mormon Handcart Church History Sites in Lander, WY. The last one involved overseeing the vehicles and housing of the young missionaries serving in the Billings Mission (Butte Stake). He held the office of a High Priest in the priesthood and served in Young Men's Organizations, as a Cub Scout Leader, and three times as Sunday School President.
Leonard loved auctions, garage sales, talking, and driving. He collected comic strips, books, hats, coats, and gloves. He could never have enough of them!!! When he was younger, his stepdad and he would put model airplanes together. A highlight in his life was when his eldest son flew him back to Minnesota for a huge Swap Meet. He was like “a little kid on Christmas Day.”
Leonard is preceded in death by his father, Benjamin Franklin Jones Jr., mother Nancy Fern McCord Jones and Step-Father Emerson Wilcox, and his three siblings, Edward Wayne Jones, Evelyn Nina Jensen, Sidney Lyle Jones, and their spouses.
Surviving family includes his wife of 61 years, Carolyn Mae Hartvigson, and his children son-Easton (Brenda) Jones of Whitehall, son-Weston (Cathy) Jones of Darby, MT, daughter-Lexton Jones of Belgrade, MT, son-Duston (Tanya) Jones of Mesa, AZ, and daughter-Creston Jones of Belgrade, MT. 8 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and one on the way.
Services will be on July 27th at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in Whitehall, MT, with viewing at 9:30 am, services at 10 am, and interment at the Whitehall Cemetery to follow.
Streaming of the funeral services can be accessed using the following link: Leonard Jones Funeral Service