Harold Dale Jones

Harold Dale Jones Obituary

Harold Dale Jones, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away on Saturday, September 25 at LMH Health in Lawrence, Kansas.

Harold was born May 31, 1925 in Osage City, Kansas, the youngest of three sons of Belle and Lloyd Jones. Harold attended Osage City schools and graduated from Osage City High School, where he was the center on the basketball team, in 1943.

Like many in his generation, World War II greatly influenced the person Harold became. Inducted into the U.S. Army in August 1943, three months after graduating from high school, Harold deployed to Europe with the 102nd Infantry Division in September 1944 and entered combat in October 1944. As a member of Company L, 405th Infantry Regiment, Harold fought in a series of actions in Holland and Germany, including an intense two-day battle for Boslar, Germany, for which the regiment received a presidential citation. Immediately following that battle, on February 25, 1944, Harold was badly wounded and spent the next two months in a hospital in France, rejoining his unit on the front at the Elbe River in Germany near the end of the war.

Although Harold considered himself neither courageous nor heroic, he was awarded a Bronze Star for bravery in combat in addition to the Purple Heart and other honors. Soon after entering combat, the then 19-year old Harold was promoted to staff sergeant commanding a squad of men all considerably older than he. One of Harold’s fondest memories was of being selected for the 102nd Infantry Division Chorus, which performed concerts in Germany, France and Austria in the year following the end of the war.

Upon discharge from the army in March 1946, Harold enrolled at the University of Kansas and graduated in 1949 with the highest scholastic standing in the School of Business. Harold married Margaret Meyer, also of Osage City, in September 1949. He died on what would have been their 72nd wedding anniversary.

Soon after starting work as an accountant, Harold received a call from the owner of the Osage City newspaper. He had purchased a small, struggling weekly newspaper, the Redfield Press, in Redfield, South Dakota and asked Harold and Margaret to move to South Dakota to run the newspaper. They did, and purchased the Press in 1958 as well as another weekly, the Webster Reporter & Farmer, in 1965. Harold had a long and distinguished journalism career, and it became his passion to produce the highest quality newspaper. The Press regularly won S.D. Press Association awards and was designated a Blue Ribbon newspaper by the National Editorial Foundation. Harold served as the president of the South Dakota chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism fraternity, in 1963, was president of the South Dakota Press Association in 1965, and was elected to the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1991.

Harold led a very active life outside of work in Redfield and enjoyed many close friendships. He was a Sunday school teacher, choir member and lay leader of the United Methodist Church. He was active in a large number of organizations and causes, and at various times Harold was the president of the Redfield School Board, president of the Chamber of Commerce and president of the Kiwanis Club. A talented vocalist, he was a member of a barbershop quartet, the Mason Dixon Four, which won the state American Legion competition several times and placed second nationally twice.

Harold retired in 1980, and he and Margaret returned to Kansas in 1990, settling in Lawrence. Harold enjoyed his retirement to its fullest. The intensity and drive that were his hallmarks while Harold worked were overshadowed by his gregarious personality and sense of humor in retirement. He greatly enjoyed making new friends in Lawrence. Harold was an active member of First United Methodist Church, where he sang in the choir, and the Kiwanis and Forum Clubs. He was particularly proud to have delivered Meals on Wheels weekly for 23 years in Lawrence and to have served as the chairman of the board of the local organization.

Harold and Margaret traveled extensively in retirement, visiting over 30 countries. Harold particularly enjoyed both visiting and hosting members of the Le Roux family, with whom he lived in Holland for several weeks while training replacement troops in January 1945. Most of all, Harold enjoyed following the lives of his six grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren, all of whom he adored.

Harold is survived by daughter Lynette Eastwold (Paul), of St. Paul, MN; son Steven (Mary Nohara), of Summit, NJ; 6 grandchildren (Rachel Moore, Sarah Eastwold, Claire Fuller, Andrew Jones, Peter Jones and Emily Jones); 13 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Carl Meyer, of Osage City; sister-in-law Dorothy Meyer, of Osage City; 9 nieces and nephews; and many friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret.

Harold’s funeral service will take place at 11:00am on Saturday, October 9 at First United Methodist Church, 946 Vermont Street, Lawrence. Burial will follow at the Osage City Cemetery.

Contributions in memory of Harold Jones can be made to Redfield United Methodist Church, 1326 W. 1st Street, Redfield, SD 57469 or to First United Methodist Church, 946 Vermont Street, Lawrence, KS 66044 and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

4 Condolences

  1. Susan Quinn on October 2, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Lynette and Steven, I have such fond memories of your dad. He really was a wonderful and kind man. He truly lived a very full life and touched so many. My thoughts are with you and with the grandchildren and great grandchildren that he loved. Susan Wetrich Quinn

  2. Randy Bush on October 4, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Dear Steve & Lynette and Families: I was very sorry to hear of your father Harold’s passing and very moved to read the story of his life — which is an exceptional story of service, achievement and devotion to family, church and community, wherever he lived. It has been a long time since I have seen your parents and your families, but the Jones Family left a strong positive influence on me from our years growing up together in Redfield. Harold was truly an inspirational person with his great enthusiasm for life and his incredible hard work as a newspaper publisher, editor and journalist. In those halcyon days he seemed to be everywhere at once with his camera and his notepad, delivering the “infinite variety” of news around the community, the northeast region, and across the state of South Dakota. It is no wonder he received the recognition that he did professionally. I also had the privilege to be a friend and guest at your home, playing basketball or baseball with Steve, watching sports or shooting pool in the basement on weekends, and occasionally as a guest at your dinner table. Together, Harold and Margaret, represented the best of hospitality and gracious living and caring for others in the community. I also remember their pride in Kansas, their home state, where they started their lives together, and in retirement lived out their long lives happily and actively. By happenstance, I met and married a woman from Kansas when I moved to Wichita 35 years ago, and after moving on to Minnesota for a few years, returned to live and work the past 23 years in Kansas. So I know the good things that Kansas quietly offers. One regret that I have is not re-connecting with your parents since they lived in Lawrence not so far away from my home in Wichita. But please know that they have a prominent place in my memory of our hometown in Redfield. I mourn with you for your loss, as it is only a year or so ago that my own mother passed away. My sincere sympathy and kind condolences for both of you and your fine families. Your friend, Randy Bush

  3. Jerry and Judy (Welke) Thomas on October 5, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Harold has given many outstanding and precious memories to many of us that were in Redfield school system during late 50’s and the 60’s. All of his hard work is still being enjoyed by children and great grand children of the sporting events that he covered for years. There are only sadly a few people in our lives that leave such over whelming memories for future generations to enjoy. Harold without a doubt was one of by far the best. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers.

  4. Wendy Davis Gugel on October 8, 2021 at 7:16 am

    Dear Lynette, Steve and family,
    My heart goes out to you as you celebrate your dad’s life. I’m remembering him as a kind and friendly man who did so much for the community we grew up in. May the wonderful memories you have of his life and love bring you peace and smiles,

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