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.
Life well lived.
Great story of what is possible to achieve because of The US Constitution.
Edsel Jones was “Uncle Shock” to me and to my brothers, Duke and Jim Butler. He had married our mother’s younger sister, Elsie Gray. The “Shock” nickname, we heard, came from his days playing football for A&M Consolidated HS.
Edsel was handsome and talented in so many ways. One of my strongest early memories was watching him work on the cradle he built for the first baby he and Elsie were expecting. They lived then in a duplex apartment within walking distance from our home, and I loved to go visit them after school. I remember staying with my grandmother “Dodie” Gray and Elsie’s oldest sister, Cath, as we waited for the phone call announcing Don’s birth, and later, Julie’s and Jena’s. One didn’t learn a baby’s gender ahead of a birthday in those days—and we kids weren’t welcome at the hospital during labor and delivery.
I remember playing in the front yard of Dodie’s house at 201 Fidelity as the adults sat outside in the evenings while Edsel was in Korea. I recall looking at the stars while Elsie spoke of how much she missed Edsel. She reminded us that the same stars were visible where he was.
Later still, I enjoyed studying 8th grade Health in Edsel’s class, though I remember getting in trouble for sharing a family story involving laxatives.
I so appreciated the love and encouragement from Edsel and Elsie when I was engaged to Buzz Loveless. We married when I’d been 19 for two days. That was years before my parents wanted me to wed, and they feared I’d not finish college. Edsel and Elsie knew I would, and I did.
I loved visiting Edsel and Elsie in San Antonio, when we were hauling our two toddlers. As always, they welcomed us.
Edsel’s love of Native American art inspired my own interest. And I honor him for his deep dedication to his family. I’m thankful for the fine example he set for me, my brothers, and later for my sons.
The last time I visited with Coach Jones was at an A&M Consolidated reunion a few years ago. He and Coach Churchill sat across the table from me as we reminisced and talked about the normal things we talk about at reunions. They were both in rare form and laughing. This is the memory I will keep. Thoughts and prayers and my most sincere condolences to his family.
We send love and sympathy to Julie, Don, Jena and families.
Edsel and Donna were so kind and loving to me when my Dad died. I often sat with them in church and appreciated their hugs. May God comfort and strengthen you and may the fond memories you have bring you smiles in the sadness of your loss.
Sending my condolences and love to the family. Edsel was a fun free spirit and he will be missed.
COACH JONES WAS MY MY HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL COACH AT CONSOLIDATED . HE WAS THE BEST COACH I EVER HAD. STERN AND DEMANDING BUT NOT TO DEMANDING. HE WAS THE BEST COACH I EVER HAD IN ANY SPORT. MAY HE REST IN PEACE AND IN GODS CARE
Mr. Jones was one of my teachers at A&M Consolidated many, many years ago. He was very respected and appreciated by students. My condolences to the family — but happy for him enjoying eternity.
I will always remember Coach Jones as my first football coach in jr.high and later as a friend. He was a good man.
Edsel, you will be missed dearly. I didnt work with you personally, but i would always see you with your caregivers, up and down the halls, smiling, joking FLIRTING lol, but overall a good man. You have a bunch of loved ones who will carry your legacy on forever. May GOD bless you and your family, RIP, and enjoy your new mansion with your wife, shes been waiting for you. Much love, Aminah MIMI Collette, CNA at a skilled facility that you were at.❤
I didn’t know Edsel was a member of the 420th here in Bryan. Randy Chisum was deployed with that unit. I almost joined that unit in 1990!
Praying for you, Paul, Hannah and all of your family and friends who mourn this loss and celebrate a life well lived.
I enjoyed working with Edsel over the years. My sympathy to Don and the family.
What an amazing loving and caring Man. Edsel was always a gentleman and his smile was overwhelming. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful loving family.
Robert and Suzanne Krupa
Mr. Jones was a wonderful person. He will be greatly missed by so many. I have sunch fond memories of him when we were at A&M Consolidated.
Cheri Holland Bridges
I am so grateful to have spent the long awaited, but such quality time with Uncle Edsel on my last two trips back down to Texas in 2010 and 2012. Family will always be family, but sometimes connections are hard to establish and maintain – in our minds at least. Thankfully, our hearts know differently.
Rest in Peace Uncle Edsel; and to Aunt Virginia, Don, Julie, Jena and all your families – know there is a never ending line of love and thoughts from the Great White North to the Lone Star State.
My heart grieves with you…. Jena and Julie over the loss of your father….an amazing man! Even though I never met him in person…his legacy lives on in your family…and I see the courage, tenacity, and strong work ethic reflected in his obituary….and what a beautiful heritage he left his family! I loved reading the stories of his early life in College Station…and to think of the beautiful memories you all shared as sisters in this town…. Holding you close in my heart…… With love and prayers…
“Is death the last sleep? No, it is the last and final awakening.” ― Walter Scott
Edsel and I were classmates in grade school, high school and A&M. We phoned each other even recently, and I will miss him as a loyal and valued friend.