Donald “Too Tall” Gerard Jones
Donald “Too Tall” Gerard Jones, 79, of Puebla, Mexico, died February 3, 2023. Don was born on September 25, 1943, in Peoria, Illinois.
Don was a self-described “lifelong learner.” Entrepreneurship was in his blood from a young age, having purchased his first radio station in Litchfield, Illinois, in his early 20s. Having lived most of his adult life in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, his professional life ranged from radio to cable television to telecommunications. The son of a librarian, he was passionate about digitizing print information to increase public access to rare, archived materials including extensive documentation about President Abraham Lincoln. He was instrumental in forming and naming THOMAS, the first online database of legislative information. Don knew that giving the public free access to legislative information that anyone could search for and read was central to an informed democracy.
Both during and after stepping away from being the leader of his own business, he provided honest advice and generous counsel to countless young entrepreneurs on how to start companies of their own. Don found great meaning in fostering the birth of new business and took great pride when his mentees found success.
Don had several “hobbies,” if you could call them that as his interests often turned into strong passions, adopting an “all in” approach to everything he did. His interests spanned from aviation and Arabian horses to property development and agriculture production. He brought technology into local schools and used his time, effort, and philanthropy to evaluate and find ways to make things better for others.
His biggest adventures were centered around travel; he participated in the Peking to Paris car rally driving a 1945 Packard convertible and ventured through countries like China, Turkey, Iran, and France. He traveled through Russia by motorcycle. He met Pope John Paul in Rome and Queen Elizabeth in London. Never truly satisfied with sitting still too long, he ultimately moved his home on the road to his motorcoach where he was able to visit with friends and family all over the U.S.
Family and friends are what meant most to him. Hunting buddies knew him as “Buddy Bear” giving updates and broadcasting the happenings at hunting camp. He loved to provide unsolicited life advice to his children, as only the best parents do. Weddings and a captive audience had
everyone hunkering down for what was sure to include another power point presentation and long speech followed by dancing on the table. He found a haven in the woods at Edenwood Ranch where he hosted the annual Jones Family Camp. Don was never happier than when his family was gathered all in one place.
Don will be dearly missed by those that loved him most, his family. He is survived by his wife, Nieves Mier de Jones, his daughters, Diann Roberts (Mark), Carol Jones (Kristie), and Mary Dalzell (John), his son, Joseph Jones (Emily), four stepsons, Julio, Luis (Kenia), Felix (Adriana) and Dany (Anais), his grandchildren who lovingly called him “Abuelo”, his brother, Robert “Bob” Jones (Lynda) and cherished nieces and nephews. He will live on in all of their hearts forever. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence William and Mary Florence (Cleary) Jones, his brother Bernard “Bernie” Jones and his sister Rosalie Jones.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Donald G. Jones Legacy Fund at the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, 1020 S. Main Street, Suite E, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 54935.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, February 12, 2023, from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM at Holy Family Hall within Holy Family Church, 271 Fourth Street Way, in Fond du Lac. Cremation has taken place and the interment of ashes will be at Parroquia de Nuestra Senora de Camino in Puebla, Mexico.