William R. (Bill) Jones, went home to his Lord on Monday, May 11 at his home in Green Valley, Ariz.
Bill was born in Omaha, Neb. July 25, 1928, one of three children of prominent Wyoming attorney W.B. (Bud) Jones and his wife Mabel. Bill grew up in Wheatland and attended the University of Wyoming College of Law, graduating in 1951. He married Jeannie Wilson Jones on June 9, 1951, and took the bar exam the day he returned from his honeymoon - and passed it! He and Jeanie had three sons, Scott, Mark and Todd. He became a partner with his father in Jones and Jones, a firm established by his father in 1924, and began to develop an expertise in water law, an important area of the law in the agricultural community of Wheatland. He rapidly gained a reputation as one of the preeminent water lawyers in Wyoming. For years he was Counsel for the Wheatland Irrigation District, the only irrigation district in the State involved in trans-basin diversion. He was also Counsel to the State of Wyoming in the matter of the Little Big Horn River apportionment, involving the states of Wyoming and Montana, as well as the Crow Indian Tribe. He was joined in his law practice in 1967 by W.H. Vines and in 1968 by Ray Hunkins.
In 1978 Bill became a fellow of the American College of Probate Counsel and in 1981 he was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 1982 - 1983 William R. Jones served the Wyoming State Bar as its fifty eighth President. Bill retired from active practice of law in 1993.
Bill Jones served others outside of the law in many capacities, only a few of which are mentioned here. He was appointed to the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees by Governor Hathaway in 1966 and served as Treasurer of the Board. After his term as a UW Trustee, he was elected to the University of Wyoming Foundation Board of Directors and served on that Board for 20 years, including as its President. Bill had many business interests during his active career and in 1978 was honored as one of the State’s business leaders by the University of Wyoming, College of Commerce Industry.
After retirement Bill and Jeannie resided at their beautiful ranch on the North Laramie River in the summer and in Green Valley, Ariz. in the Winter.
Bill was also a lifetime member of the Episcopal Church (All Saints) and over the years taught Sunday school sang in the choir, served in the vestry and as senior warden.
Bill was an avid sportsman and competitor. He excelled in all activities, including fishing, hunting, golf, horseshoes, ping pong and any other endeavor you brought to the table. He was a single engine pilot and flew from Canada to Cabo San Lucas to fish. He taught his sons to respect the wonders of the wilderness. He will be respected for generations in this family for his love and generosity. An amazing father & husband.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, his brother Dr. John A. Jones, his sister Marian Jean (Blinn) and two sons Scott and Todd.
Services will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 302, Wheatland, WY 82201 or emailed to [email protected]