William J. Jones

William J. Jones

William James Jones “Bill”

William James Jones “Bill” (Age 77) of Washington DC passed away on July 4, 2021. To Muriel (nee Potter) and Enos Jones, Bill was born October 26, 1943 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He graduated from Washington High School there in 1961, from Yale College, Class of 1965, and from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1968. After two years in the US Army, Bill moved to DC in 1970 and began his 40-year career in the Law Department of the US Postal Service.

An avid fan of Classic Country, Bluegrass and Folk music, he was proud to have attended the Newport Folk Festival in 1963 and enjoyed introducing family and friends to the likes of Doc Watson and Bill Monroe. He was at the Word, an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and an early enthusiast of Apple computers and other Apple products. An avid reader, he also enjoyed traveling and hosting friends at the river house in St. Mary’s County, MD. Bill was a devoted husband to Martha (nee Chamberlin) Jones and stepfather to Robert Hunter (Susan Park) and Anne Hunter (Wayken Shaw). He was “Gramps” to Zac Hunter, Ava Hunter and Margot Hunter (born the week that Bill was in the hospital) and to Sybil Shaw. Also survived by his cousin, Robert Potter, of Florida. He and his wry humor will be missed by family and friends.

A Memorial Service and Internment of Ashes is planned for Tuesday, August 3 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 6701 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Reception to follow in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bill’s name to St. John’s at the above address. Services by Pumphrey Funeral Home.


I met Bill in the year “when freshmen first we came to Yale.” That steamy registration day of 1961, he (from Sioux Falls, SD) and I (from Marks, MS) saw more blue blazers than we had ever seen before. Many classmates already knew each other, but Bill from Sioux Falls and Lee from Marks knew no one. We soon knew each other.

Our acquaintance deepened over the next four years into a friendship that lasted. Bill was not a raconteur, but he was a commentator – not loud, but looking for the anomaly – poking balloon-puncturing asides at Yale Political Union speakers and other “orators.”

Bill and I were members of The Party of the Right of the Political Union, a fraternity-like group of mostly conservative students that adjourned to Mory’s after caucuses. Bill and I avoided heavy drinking, but he enjoyed the fellowship around the tables down at Mory’s.

He was very enthusiastic in sharing my joy when he attended my wedding to my first wife in East Lansing in 1966. He traveled from Sioux Falls for that one. Later he was very supportive when my first wife died in 2014. He again rejoiced with me when I wed my second wife in 2016 in Peru, VT. With an eye for the good things in life, in 2016 he gave us a case of wine for a wedding present. Bill was, I believe, the only person, other than my brother (and myself) who attended both of my weddings.

Bill found great joy and fulfilment when he met and married Martha, with whom he had 30 wonderful years, It was a match of people who were in some ways quite different, but with similar underlying values and ideals.

A master of arcane knowledge, Bill would amaze in conversation. He knew more about Apple computers than I ever hope to know. His knowledge extended to political history. Who else cold easily recall how many times Harold Stassen ran for president?

Bill had many sides: he was a man with facets, with different aspects coming out at different times. With all that, he was, however, mostly a good man – always faithful and generous to friends and family for decades. He is and will be missed. As I moved off to Arizona and he moved off to his dementia we saw less of each other, but his going still left a hole in my heart.

Lee Lundy