“Don’t get old, it’s hell.”
That was the mantra of Carl Gladstone “Happy Rock” Jones, yet he lived to the age of 98. Carl was born in Ethel, Missouri on July 27, 1922. He passed away on June 22, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Carl married Maxine Wiles on August 22, 1942 and they were married for 64 years. They had two children, Steve and Pat.
Carl enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII, but only because his younger brother Harry wanted to, so they signed up together. He was stationed on the USS Gambier Bay. Although he only obtained a 10th grade education, he was promoted to Aviation Chief Metalsmith in less than four years. In 1944 during the Battle off Samar, the centermost action of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Gambier Bay was the only American aircraft carrier to be sunk by enemy surface gunfire. Carl was one of 800 survivors who were rescued after spending an extraordinary two days floating in the ocean wearing a life jacket. Carl was also a Purple Heart recipient.
Following his naval career, Carl worked for the Iowa Sheet Metal Company in a variety of positions including Field Superintendent, Sales Manager and National Construction Manager until 1970. All of these positions led him to move the family several times. Their last move was to Fort Worth where he went to work for Universal Sheet Metal as Vice President. In 1975 he and his son formed TAC Industries, a metal fabrication company. They also formed a partnership, Happy Rock LTD., from Carl’s middle name. He ultimately retired in the early 90s, although he still loved to visit on a regular basis.
Carl was a 50-year Mason. His home lodge was Pioneer Lodge in Des Moines, Iowa. Carl loved what Masonry stood for, but his travels kept him from regular participation.
His home away from home was Glen Garden Country Club where he was a member for 41 years. He played golf twice a week with the Dirty Dozen, an exclusive group of finely tuned duffers who had more side bets than someone in Vegas. He also played dominoes weekly with his “Pigeons.” He took pride in remembering the details about friends like a favorite drink. Even after he stopped playing golf he continued to take a golf cart on the course to make the rounds and socialize with (harass) the other golfers. A stray dog at the club would ride in the cart with him and eventually became “Angel” a beloved pet who rarely left his side. Behind the scenes, he would do little things to help the club such as repairing vacuum cleaners and other small appliances. Possibly a legitimate excuse to piddle and tinker in his man cave.
Carl’s sense of humor was known by all who loved him. He loved to tease those around him and they knew they were special to him if they were at the other end of the teasing. Carl was direct, but also had a soft heart. He did not mince words, but you knew they were said with love.
He always had a dollar bill for any child within an arms-reach. He was active and independent, as well as stubborn and ornery. He was a generous man with an award-winning smile. He was a beloved friend, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He will be missed.
Carl was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Maxine Jones. His parents Thomas Gladstone Jones and Orpha Anderson, sisters Annabelle Marshall, Betty Ritter, brothers Harry Jones and Richard Jones.
He is survived by his son Steve (Deb) Jones and daughter Pat Jones. Grandchildren Tori (Matt) Mulvaney, Matt (Jesica) Jones, Sherry Pollard, Lindsey (Ben) Fender, Christine Pollard. Great Grandchildren Alicia Hooper, Austin Dime, Leighton Jones, Griffin Jones, Lauren Jones, Blakely Fender.
Forest Ridge Funeral Home
8525 Mid Cities Blvd.
North Richland Hills, TX 76182
Tuesday, June 29 at 10:30 a.m.
The funeral will be live streamed and can be accessed from the Forest Ridge Funeral Home Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.
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