March 2, 1921 – December 12, 2018
the short years From atop a pillar
From that vantage, The future holds no threat.’
– Paul Jones
Artist, author, golfer and gardener Paul Jones left us on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 after a brief illness, as he held the hand of his daughter Sydney. He was only 97.
Paul will be lovingly remembered by his son Stephen (Leslie), grandson Ryan (Destin) and great-granddaughter Marlowe, granddaughter Dayna (Rob), daughter Sydney (Mel) and grandson Jacob, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Every single year of Paul’s distinguished life was filled with adventure and achievement. As described in his book Pembina Country, he grew up poorest of poor in the poorest of times.
After the family farm went bust and was auctioned off, he moved with his parents and siblings from rural Alberta to B.C., where he got his first paying job at Ocean Falls. That was interrupted by the second world war and three years in the navy but he returned there until 1949, when he began working with B.C. Power Commission at a small hydro plant on the Barriere River in the Upper Louis Creek Valley.
There he met a young school teacher named Doreen Kozub. She must have been impressed because when Paul transferred to Needles on Lower Arrow Lake, Doreen took a teaching job at nearby Fauquier. They were married in Vernon on Christmas Eve in 1951.
On August 11, 1953 Paul was on the graveyard shift at the Whatshan power house when a huge rock slide destroyed the plant. Paul barely escaped.
During these years, Paul took up an interest in painting, a talent he would hone over the rest of his life. He also got involved in amateur theatre after he and Doreen moved to Vernon with son Stephen and daughter Sydney.
Following the creation of BC Hydro, Paul travelled to the far reaches of the province as a radio technician but he had time to join the Community Concert Association.
With a move to a new home above Kin Beach in 1970 came a new interest – wines and wine making. He planted a vineyard and, as Paul put it, “made wine, much wine. Drank same.” He also taught a winemaking class at Okanagan University College.
His interest in painting became what he called “serious,” and he studied with Vernon artist Holly Middleton and at the Banff Centre for the arts. His work was exhibited throughout the Okanagan. A collection of his paintings is in the permanent collection of the Vernon Art Gallery.
Paul retired from BC Hydro in 1983, allowing him time to serve as president of the Vernon Art Gallery board and as preparator for many shows and for the B.C. Festival of the Performing Arts. Later, he became a director and vice president of the Performing Arts Society, and would become a driving force in the successful campaign to build the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.
Paul also began writing, publishing his first book in 1998 at the age of 77, and soon publishing a second. His writing reflected a rare talent that can’t be taught, wonderfully descriptive and tinged with humour.
He was athletic, too, among his favourite sports and activities being tennis, scuba diving, sailing (he built and sailed two boats), hiking, cycling and downhill and cross-country skiing. He became an official and coach for cross-country ski racing.
At 78, he took up golf and spent the rest of his life perfecting his game. In his “spare time,” he was an avid gardener and landscaper. Paul and Doreen travelled extensively in Canada and Europe. After Doreen passed away in 2015, Paul moved to Canterbury Court.
Until his recent brief illness, he regularly worked out in the gym.
The life of Paul Jones was one of kindness, generosity and accomplishment far beyond the ordinary. It was a full life, continuing unabated to its very end.
A suitable event celebrating the life of Paul Jones will be held at a later date. Condolences may be offered at www.vernonfuneralhome.com.