Thomas A. Jones

JonesI was born in Olympia, Washington. I spent a few years there before heading off to Anchorage Alaska for grade school and then to Seward Alaska for high school.

I was drafted in 1960, and selected the Air Force instead of the Army (have you seen the size of that rifle you’re supposed to carry?) As Airman Jones, I became a munitions tech after 6 months training in electronics school. Then I was immediately sent to Adana, Turkey, and shortly after arriving, I knew that applying to OCS was the fastest and smartest way out of there.

As it turned out, OCS was the most memorable experience of my life. Every time I tried to explain life in OCS to my civilian friends, they just didn’t get it. I finally stopped trying and realized that it was simply too unique an experience to explain in words. You know what I mean.

As an OCS graduate, I continued my training in munitions in Denver. My first official assignment after training was a Munitions Maintenance Officer at Hamilton AFB, California. I loved this assignment because I was surrounded by other junior officers who were also just starting out on their first assignment. I met my wife, a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force Nurse Corps, in my 2nd year there, and headed off to Burlington, Vermont, assigned as the munitions advisor to the Vermont Air National Guard. Next was Val D’Or, Quebec, Canada, as the Detachment Commander. Then SOS (Squadron Officers School) in Montgomery, Alabama got my full attention, followed by a tour at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, NM for the Defense Nuclear Agency. Clark AB in the Philippines was my all-time favorite assignment. Not only was the weather spectacular, but the job had many challenges. Five years later, I landed at Lowry AFB, Denver, where I headed up the munitions school that trained me as an Airman many years ago.

After 20 years, as “Civilian Jones,” I returned to Olympia, WA, where I decided to use my military experience to whip a bunch of haphazard oil techs into shape. I opened up a few Quick Lubes (there were only two in the state at the time). I sold them to Jiffy Lube and built an Auto Service Center in Lacey, WA. After a successful 10 years with this shop, I decided to put the automotive industry behind me.

Where Am I Now?

Well, I have three great children (two girls and a boy), and I’m still married to that nurse I met at the Officer’s Club at Hamilton AB in 1964. I’ve had a hand in community stuff such as Chamber of Commerce President, Kiwanis President, etc. and now I spend my time as an auctioneer. Naturally, a retired Air Force officer would be good at this sort of thing, right?


The family of Thomas (Tucker) Jones is sad to announce his passing on August 30th, 2019 in Green Valley, Arizona. Born February 19th, 1937 in Olympia, Tom spent his early years in both Olympia and Seward, Alaska. He graduated from Seward High School in 1955, joined the Air Force in 1960, and married Carol (Mooney) Jones in San Francisco, California in 1965. They were married for 43 years and raised 3 children together.

Tom was a munitions maintenance officer throughout his 20-year military career, which included assignments in Turkey, Vermont, Quebec (Canada), New Mexico, the Philippines, and Colorado. He also earned a business degree from the University of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tom retired as a Major from the Air Force in 1980.

He returned to his hometown to open Olympia’s first quick oil change, Maxi Lube. He later opened Hawks Prairie Automotive in Lacey. He served this community for over 17 years as both a business owner and a member of the Elks and Kiwanis Clubs. He was also active with the Capital Lakefair Association, and was known for his quick wit and winning personality.

He relocated in 2009 to Green Valley, Arizona, with his 2nd wife, Margaret Heide. He is survived by his ex-wife Carol, his sister Sharon (Jones) Scholl, his daughters Traci Tenhulzen (Mike) of Woodinville and Stacey Chisam (Craig) of Entiat, and his son, Thomas Jones Jr. (Christene) of Tenino, and 3 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Lila (Cason) Jones and Thomas Jones of Olympia, and his sister Judi Jones. Tom will be interred at the Masonic Memorial Park. He will be greatly missed.