Robert Gean Jones, 87, originally from Magnolia, died Sept. 3, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn.

 Bob was the younger son of Rev. E.B. Jones, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Magnolia, and Eunice Gean Jones, church organist and teacher of piano and organ. He was called to the gospel ministry at age 16. He graduated from Magnolia High and Baylor University and went on the earn BDiv, MA, and PhD degrees from Yale University while pastoring two churches. He published the first English translation of one section of the Dead Sea Scrolls not long after their release to the public.

Dr. Jones taught courses in religion and humanities at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., for 32 years, serving as chairman of the department of religion for 16 years and as university marshal for 20 years. In 1991, he was named professor emeritus and moved to Tennessee to be close to his grandchildren (and their parents).

In “retirement,” he was an adjunct professor in Chattanooga and Maryville and taught in the Oak Ridge Institute of Continued Learning for 14 years, all in Tennessee. He taught all but the last class in his 2012 summer course at ORICL and was scheduled to teach again in the fall. He taught adult Sunday School classes in every church he joined from 1960 until July of this year. He was also very active in the Tellico Village Woodworkers Club, chairing the Toys for Tots committee.

 Dr. Jones gave the inaugural lecture for the Lois Gean Kelly Lectureship in the Humanities at Southern Arkansas University on Sept. 12, 2011, and preached at First Baptist of Magnolia on Sept. 11.

 Bob is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Marian Alexander Jones; daughter, Carolyn Ann Parkhurst (Walter) of Signal Mountain, Tenn.; and two grandsons.

 A service of worship and thanksgiving for his life was held Sept. 8 in Knoxville. Donations may be made in his memory to the SAU Foundation, designated for the Lois Gean Kelly Lectureship in the Humanities (SAU Foundation, PO Box 9174, Magnolia, Ark. 71754, or under “Make a Gift”).  

Published: 10/03/2012