Edsel Grady Jones
January 27, 1928 – January 17, 2019
Edsel Grady Jones, 90, of College Station went to be with his Lord and savior Jesus Christ on January 17, 2019.
Edsel was born January 27, 1928 in Houston, Texas to Henry Grady Jones and Annie Maude Royder Jones. At the age of 6, Edsel’s family moved back to the family farm at Jones Crossing about a mile south of the A&M College campus in College Station. Like so many of his peers, growing up in the hardscrabble reality of the Great Depression left a striking and indelible impression on Edsel. He learned the value of hard work and understood the scarcity of a dollar, while harboring the dream of someday building his own business and leaving behind the ramshackle house and the poverty in which he grew up.
Edsel pursued his love of athletics by playing football and baseball at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, from which he graduated in 1946. He soon joined the Army to proudly serve his country and to use the GI Bill, which was his only means of affording a college education. A veteran of the Korean War, he later transitioned from active duty to the 420th Engineer Brigade reserve unit based in Bryan. He would eventually retire from the Army Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After graduating from the A&M College of Texas in 1952 with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Education, Edsel married Elsie Gray of College Station in May 1953 with whom he raised three children. He then took positions as a teacher and assistant coach at A&M Consolidated High School, where he was later promoted to head coach of the football and baseball teams. He is the only Consol alumnus to return to his school as the head coach for both of the sports he played as a student.
Edsel left teaching in 1968 and began a new career in commercial real estate. In 1971 he moved his family from College Station to San Antonio and grew his business with offices in both cities. With his partners, he undertook land acquisition and development projects until age 87. When asked when he would retire, Edsel would say he loved his work and in turn would ask you to give him a good reason to quit something he liked. An automobile accident in 2015 forced his retirement.
Edsel was preceded in death by his wife and mother of his children Elsie Gray Jones; his late wife Donna Davis Jones; brothers, Thomas Henry Jones and John Roland Jones; sister, Marie Nusbaum, and his parents.
He is survived by his sister, Virginia Parsons; son Don Jones and wife Macy; daughters Julie Fowler and husband Paul and Jena Fuller and husband Lance, all of College Station; grandchildren Taylor Tate of Plano, Lindsey Tate of Plano, Derby Jones Gallo and husband Weston of Midland, Paris Jones of Galveston, and Hannah Fowler of Dallas. Also, the family of Donna Davis Jones, daughter Elaine Abshire and husband Ty; son Reed Davis and wife Michele, and her grandsons Shea Sikes, J.T. Abshire, Walker Davis and Aiden Davis.
A memorial service will be held at 2 PM Tuesday, January 22 at First Baptist Church of College Station. A reception at the church will follow immediately.
The family would like to thank Edsel’s long time personal physician Dr. David L. Hackethorn, Hospice Brazos Valley, and the numerous, able and compassionate caregivers who accompanied Edsel at his home and at the senior facilities where he also lived.
In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting young Kashmere Norman, son of Edsel’s primary caregiver by giving to the Kashmere Norman Donation Account, ℅ Erica Norman, 118 Ridge Oak, College Station, TX 77845. Or the Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 East 26th Street, Bryan, TX 77803.