Walter D. Jones passed away on Oct. 14, 2011, in Eureka, after a long battle with heart failure. He was born on Aug. 22, 1947, in Long Beach, Calif., to Violet and Rudd Jones. The family moved to Fortuna when Walt was six years of age. He then attended Fortuna Elementary and Fortuna Union High School. He joined the National Guard in 1964 and his unit was soon called up to what he called "The Boy Brownies," which was the regular Army. Walt hated every minute of it.
Upon his return to Fortuna, he attended culinary school at CR and worked as a chef in several dinner houses in the area, including Angelina Inn, Hunter's Inn, Gilded Rose, and Terrintino's of Miranda. Walt was a true "Jack of All Trades.” He laid brick on the streets of Old Town for Maher Construction, built apartments for Bent Nail Construction, worked in the water department for the City of Eureka, owned his own logging truck, Zepher Trucking, and last but not least, drove a cement truck for Kelly Concrete.
Walt married Sheri Shepherd on July 27, 1975, in Fortuna. We were very different in many ways, and fought like cats and dogs in our younger years, but loved each other dearly.
Walt is survived by his wife of 36-years, Sheri; his mother, Violet Demello Connolly of Fortuna; sister, Sharon Fatahi of Playa Del Rey; his special Auntie Clara and husband Kip; cousins, Keith Demello (Danette) and Keith's three boys Shane, Cole, and Ryan, Tym Demello (Francie), and their daughter Lindsey, Galen Demello (Sharon), and childhood friend, Tim Martin.
Walt held a special place in his heart for his long-time friend Dean August, Dean's daughter Gina Baarts, her husband Erik and their son Gavin Dean. Gina is our God Daughter and Walt loved her as if she was his own.
The family would like to thank Dr. Brinckhaus and his staff for all their kindness and care. We fought a long hard road and you were with us every step of the way.
Walt enjoyed a gathering of family and friends with good food and laughter -- he asked us to have a party in his memory. There will be a pot luck gathering at the Scotia Inn on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. at Mill Street entrance. Please bring a dish to share and a story to tell.