Cover photo for Bruce  R. Jones's Obituary
Bruce  R. Jones Profile Photo
1947 Bruce 2021

Bruce R. Jones

February 21, 1947 — May 16, 2021

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body...but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "Woo Hoo, Whoaaaa-What a Ride!!"Bruce Raymond Jones of Livingston, Montana, passed away May 16, 2021, from cancer. He was born February 21, 1947, the third son (and the largest at over 12 lbs.) and last of six children born to Lucille (Asher) and Glenn Jones of Livingston, MT. Bruce graduated from Park High in 1966. He and Marlene (McPherson) were married for 32 years. They lovingly adopted infant Corey Allen Jones in 1972. Bruce was a hard worker at gas stations, Glenbowl Lanes in Glendive and in the nearby oil fields. He worked at the Emigrant rock quarry in the hard cold of winter. He worked at Burlington Northern Railroad for 14 years. He went on to graduate from Wyoming Tech trade school at Laramie WY and started his Upholstery Center. Bruce and Marlene purchased Jones Grocery in 1987 and operated that store until 1991, after which he re-opened the Upholstery Center. Bruce was a lifelong active member of Grace United Methodist Church in Livingston. He helped with the Livingston Middle School track programs, coached American Legion Baseball teams and the Eastern Montana All Stars. He was Captain of the Five Watts Search and Rescue, member of Kiwanis, Glendive Elk's Lodge, and actively participated in many softball team activities as a player and as a coach. He worked with dog training and has trophies from his German Shepherd, "Rufus". Bruce developed a knack for growing and tending to his roses on Calendar Street. He enjoyed the challenges of the daily newspaper cross word puzzles. Bruce was an active participant in the Montana Senior Olympics, successfully competing in the Track and Field events of shot put, discus, javelin, hammer and weight throw events in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington, as well as National events in Montana, Utah and Washington. He definitely loved all of his sports activities, whether participating or watching on TV.In 2001 Bruce met and married Penny Johnson from Twin Bridges, MT. They country danced and two-stepped their way across MT. It was non-stop going, going, going to nearly any event -- concerts, rodeos, stock car racing, horse racing, showing their classic cars, festivals, and even Volkswagen drag races! They were going so much they bought a 5th wheel RV for the dogs (Spike/Pomeranian and MsE/Yorkie) and then went camping, boating, and fishing. Next came snowbird traveling including the California beaches, and on to Arizona and Mexico. His favorites were Yuma and Mexico. He laughingly told friends "he just tried to keep up with his much older wife." Showing their classic cars developed many new friends, and of course, Bruce always being competitive, more trophies. He started with what became his favorite, a 1968 Red Impala Convertible, ("ticket red" according to Bruce) from Townsend, MT. He next added ("beefy guy truck") a 1969 El Camino from Glendive, MT. Next it was the 1960 Thunderbird Coupe "barn find" from Twin Bridges, MT, followed by the 1970 screaming Yellow Oldsmobile 442 that was headed to the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale Auction, and finally, the 1959 Cadillac (Bat Mobile) bought from the 102-year-old Livingston neighbor. Their stock car races each weekend acquaintances became the "Friday Night Race Family." Their dancing friends evolved into Mexican Train Dominos weekly events, then along with camping friends. In addition to all his trophies and achievements, two and a half years ago, Bruce graduated Hospice. Long time Livingston Morning Coffee buddies were some great railroad friends swapping men's stories. And in the end, it is not the "years in a life", but rather the "life in the years". And Bruce packed the life into his days! During his last weeks, Bruce told visitors that he liked the country song; "I want to go to heaven, but I don't want to go tonight." Bruce made his own personal choice for Montana Body Donation to the WWAMI Medical Education Program at Montana State University. He said he hoped others could learn from his worn out, used up body.Bruce was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Harlan; and sister, Anita Gray. Bruce is survived by his wife Penny; his only son, Corey Allen Jones of Billings; his most precious grandchild, Carley Rae Jones of Reed Point; two sisters, Eunice (Jerry) Petrich of Paradise Valley and Lois Thurlow of Bozeman; and his brother, Woody (Julie) of Billings. Special thanks to the Livingston Health Care Hospice team, Dr. Ted Scofield, nephew Ken Gray, Dave and Shelly Wagenman, and the Livingston Fire Department being on "speed dial" for lift assist.A memorial service for Bruce will be held Saturday, May 22, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 302 South 9th Street, Livingston; masks are encouraged, but not required. To respectfully honor Bruce's wishes, in lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to the Shriners Children's Hospital for Children, 215 Radio Drive, Woodbury MN 55125, in honor of Travis J. Hauge, of Minot, ND; or to Grace United Methodist Church at 302 South 9th Street, Livingston MT 59047.
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