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Captain Richard Saunders Jones, a proud Retired Service-Disabled Veteran of the United States Army, passed away on January 24, 2024.
The son of William E. and Bernice Jones was born in Hampton, VA on Sunday, May 13, 1945. Rich attended Hampton High School where he met the love of his life, Jane Potter, whom he later married on December 30, 1967. Rich graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering in 1968. During his time in Virginia Tech, Rich was involved with the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Co-Op Program – NASA Langley Research Center. Rich was also an Honor Graduate from the US Army Guided Missile Systems School (1181) in 1973. There he received a degree in Guided Missile Systems Engineering. In 1975, he returned to Virginia Tech and received his Master of Science in Systems Engineering. Rich’s final educational accomplishment was his Doctor of Philosophy (ABD) in R&D Management in 1983 from The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Rich enjoyed sharing his knowledge with those in his life. He spent time as a College Professor for Columbia College on Redstone Arsenal. He enlisted in the Army in 1968. As part of this service, he was an Infantry Company Commander in the Republic of Vietnam, was stationed in Germany as a Platoon Leader, Battery Commander, Battalion Operations Officer for an Air Defense Missile Battalion and BN Commander, BN Operations Office for an AD missile BN in Ft. Bliss TX. Rich completed his time in the Army at Redstone Arsenal in 1979 and then worked as a Division Chief, Aircraft Weapons & Short-Range Air Defense, Sensors Directorate for MICOM RDEC and a Program Manager, Short-Range Air Defense Project Office (provisional) on Redstone Arsenal retiring as a GS-15 in 1986. Rich was the Vice President of Engineering and Tactical Systems for BDM International; Director, Information Systems and International programs at Camber Corporation, and the Senior Consultant at Sy Technology. His final goal and accomplishment was founding his own company. In 2002, Rich created and was the President of Defense Acquisition, Inc (DAi). Rich found he had dedication, support, and love for those he worked with, employed, and supported. He always attempted to spread and encourage his educational knowledge, personal knowledge, experience, advice, listening ear, heart, advice, humor, and wisdom to everyone.
Rich’s first love was wife Jane and his daughter Jennifer. Rich and Jane fell in love in High School. They had never been apart, except, the year Rich was in Vietnam right after they were married. Rich took Jane to a few different Stations, mostly places they had already been and then settled in Huntsville, AL. After that they spent time traveling and seeing many different places. Rich enjoyed spending time with Jennifer growing up playing in the snow, building block castles, and teaching her about computers. He enjoyed her concert days as a Violinist. He was so proud to watch Jennifer get her multiple Degrees. Rich was proud to have Jennifer working beside him at his company. Rich had a love for Education. He had also supported Jane going through getting her Master’s Degree. Rich enjoyed helping his father with their race boat, the Miss Bee Bee, until his later days in college. He is still involved with the Vintage Race boat circuit and owns the Jr Prowler and the Miss Bee Bee Replica. Research and History of this era was something that he and Jennifer shared. Rich not only spent a life dedicated to his work, but he was very devoted to his wife and family. He spent mornings and evenings enjoying breakfast and dinners with Jane, running errands, shopping, taking her to hair appointments, and traveling as they got older. As Rich got older, his love for boats continued. Rich and Jane had a love for cruises. They enjoyed many trips to Alaska. He and Jane spent many days at their Lakehouse cruising the water, taking in the view of the many Eagles, beautiful sunsets, calm waters, and enjoying the company of friends, family, each other, and many fur babies. Rich’s biggest past time was his trains. He had been building tracks since he was young and had recently been working on a full train room. Rich had a love for animals. He and Jane have been active for years in many animal rescues and have loved many fur babies of their own.
Richard Saunders Jones is preceded in death by his parents William and Bernice Jones.
Richard is survived by his loving wife of over 57 years, Jane; his loving daughter, Jennifer; brother-in-law, Jon Potter; loving and supporting friends and family, Malcolm and Anne Emerson, Mark Nation, David Hatchett, Lani (Chuck) Taylor; god-children, Marissa and Emily Taylor; and many years of very good friends and Colleagues.
A memorial visitation will be held at Spry Funeral Home of Huntsville on February 24, 2024 from 1:00-3:00pm. Flowers and condolences will be received by Spry Funeral Home.