Herschel Leland Jones, 85, a longtime Richland resident, died March 11, 2001 at his home.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Richland Christian Church. Pastor Gordon Bond will officiate. Interment will be at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Visitations will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.
Mr. Jones was born Feb. 8, 1916, at Keating on his grandfather Andrew Ritter’s ranch. His parents were C.E. “Curly” Jones and Pearl Ritter Jones. He was the eldest of four boys. He started school at Keating. The family subsequently moved to Rock Springs and later to Baker and then to Eagle Valley.
As a young man, he went with his dad to build the Sparta Road. He completed his high school education at Eagle Valley High School at Richland. He worked at the Cornucopia mine, on two dams, at the sawmill, but mostly as a farmer, cattle rancher and cowboy.
Except for the 17 years that he worked for the McGregor feed lot at Pasco, Wash., he had been a lifetime Baker County resident. He retired from McGregor feed lot in 1987 and returned to Eagle Valley.
He had a special interest in rodeo, being a charter member of the Northwest Rodeo Producers, past president, board member and pick-up man. He picked up horses at Baker County rodeos for 27 consecutive years.
He was proud of the friendship, cooperation, hard work and good times accomplished by this group. He was also a lifetime member of the Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338.
At age 20, he married Vera Robinette. Two children were born to this union, Edward John, better known as “Butch” and Nona Jean, who was called “Sis.”
This marriage ended by divorce. He married Ethyl May Nedrow on Aug. 25, 1948. They had one son, Clifford Leland Jones. His beloved wife, Ethyl, died on Dec. 25, 1970, after 22 years of partnership.
On Dec. 5, 1988, he married Betty A. Bunyard in Las Vegas, Nev., while attending the National Finals Rodeo. They spent the last years together riding for cattle for other ranchers, rodeoing, and riding the range.
His passion was horses, working teams and rodeoing. There were many stories told of getting wood with a four-horse team. All his life he loved a good pulling team.
The couple’s travels included trips to various rodeos and camping in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. He was a friend to a host of young people and he always stopped to greet young and old alike.
He kept a close association with old pards along the way. He thrived on friendships and independence, trying to live the “Cowboy Code.” His message to his friends is this: “Well boys, it came up my turn; may the old man keep his arm around you.” His message to his family is “I love you all, but I’m gone to camp.”
Survivors include his wife, Betty Jones of Richland; son and daughter-in-law, Edward “Butch” and Connie Jones of Tallahassee, S.C.; son, Clifford Jones of Richland; brother and sister-in-law, C.W. “Tiny” and Phyllis Jones of Baker City; brother, Ralph Jones of Moses Lake, Wash.; grandchildren, Herschel Jon “Buck” Jones of Tallahassee, S.C., Lucas Jones and Jeremiah Jones of Richland, and Micky Parvin of Albany; three stepchildren, James Bunyard of Hermiston, Gayle and Robert Haga of Estacada; and Gene and Bonnie Bunyard of Richland; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Everett; and his daughter, Nona Jean.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Eagle Valley Ambulance and EMTs through the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 16, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor