John William “Bill” Jones, of Gambier, Ohio, 75, passed away Thursday, 23rd of March, 2023, after being struck by a pickup truck while crossing a street in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Bill was born in Dayton, Ohio December 30, 1947, the fourth of five children of Thomas Z. Jones, Sr. and Ada Marian Dierdorf Jones.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Thomas “Tom” Zay Jones, Jr. Bill is survived by his wife Pamela Sara Woodworth Watkins Jones, formerly of Fayetteville, Georgia; her sons Oliver Kenneth Watkins and David Garrett Watkins of Pompano Beach, Florida; his son Dr. George Alexander Jones and daughter-in-law Genevieve Bester Jones of River Forest, Illinois; his daughter Katherine Jeanette Jones Baldwin and son-in-law Ross Joseph Baldwin of Westerville, Ohio; his brother J. Todd Jones and sister-in-law Mary Helen Brainard of Buena Vista, Virginia; his sisters, Nancy Jones Kephart with partner Michael Bryant of Mount Vernon, Ohio; Carolyn Sue Jones with partner David McRary of Burnsville, North Carolina; and sister-in-law, Sallie M. Jones of Indianapolis, Indiana. Bill is also survived by 6 grandchildren, 9 nieces and nephews, 10 great nieces and nephews, many cousins, and a lifetime of friends, including dear friends Steve Hecker and Lisa Smith-Hecker.
To know Bill was to know you’d always be greeted with a warm smile, at least one amusing story, and a welcoming conversation on nearly any topic. Bill and Pamela became well known and loved in Mount Vernon as artists and owners of Pine Row Studio. Both talented potters, they have been creating works for show and sale, and teaching classes at the Studio since opening in 2016.
Bill took his first ceramics course at The Ohio State University in 1969. After earning his BFA, he worked at Fetzer Ceramic Supply (now Columbus Clay) before setting off as a studio potter in 1972, specializing in high-fire stoneware and functional work.
After working for a number of years as a writer and editor, Bill joined the American Ceramic Society in 1997 as the founding editor of Pottery Making Illustrated, a how-to magazine for ceramic artists of all skill levels. In his 17 year tenure, he infused the magazine with his unique blend of creativity and practicality; it is still in circulation today. He retired in 2014.
Since then, in addition to his work in the studio, he has shared his gift for music as a trumpet player with Mount Vernon’s Community Band, and has enjoyed free time with Pamela in several outdoor groups, finding fellowship, sanctuary and their own spiritual journey in the beauty of the outdoors.
Bill raised his children in Tipp City, Ohio with his former wife Lucinda “Cindy” Butler-Jones. A devoted public servant, Bill was elected Mayor of Tipp City in 2000, and has more recently been part of the Mount Vernon Merchant Guild, and the Zoning Board for the Knox County College Township which includes Gambier OH.
A celebration of Bill’s life will take place at 4 p.m. on June 3, 2023, at the Kokosing Nature Preserve in Gambier, Ohio. All are welcome.