Raymond Jones was always willing to be present and pitch in — no matter what was needed. He always wanted to know what he could do for you, rather than what you could do for him. That’s why some people called him Mr. Nice Guy.
Raymond Nelson Jones, 89, of Broomfield, Colorado, went to be with his Lord on December 31, 2017 after a long illness.
He was born June 18, 1928 to Clayton and Ruth Jones in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The family later moved to Bartlesville. As a boy, Raymond was active in scouting, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 1944.
He was an outstanding student in high school, receiving the Robert Miller Kane Memorial Scholarship. He also was a three-year letterman in both football and baseball, and was named to the Oklahoma All-State team as a pitcher his senior year. He graduated in 1946.
Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a quartermaster on the USS Hazel in the Panama Canal Zone. During his service in Panama, Raymond pitched for the Coco Solo Naval Station baseball team, winners of the 1948 All-Navy Championship.
Following his discharge he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve (from which he would retire as a lieutenant in 1964). He began studying at Phillips University and on Sept. 3, 1949, he married Mary Kathryn Guyer, whom he had known since high school, in Norman, Oklahoma.
Raymond continued to excel at baseball at Phillips, earning three letters while pitching for the Haymakers, who won the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference title in 1950. He also pitched for several semi-pro teams in Oklahoma during his college years.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics he and his wife moved to Boulder, Colorado. On March 3, 1952, he began working at the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory at the National Bureau of Standards, where he spent his entire working career as a physicist.
In Boulder, Raymond and Mary Kay welcomed two daughters, Karen and Gail. They attended First Presbyterian Church and in 1961, became charter members of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church of Boulder, where he served as a deacon and elder.
Raymond continued to play ball, becoming something of a legend in Boulder’s fast-pitch softball leagues, where he played catcher for countless teams from 1952 to 1977. He also coached his daughters’ teams from early age through high school.
He retired from the Bureau of Standards in 1987, receiving the Measurement Service Award and Certificate of Recognition for Sustained Superior Service. In retirement, he enjoyed golf, fly-fishing and -tying, home maintenance and gardening. His greatest reward was serving as maintenance director for the Gate N Green community in Broomfield.
For the last 10 years of his life, Raymond lived with multiple myeloma. But he never stopped actively engaging life or lost his kind, giving spirit. Even as he approached the end of life, he was a favorite of his caregivers.
Raymond is survived by his daughters, Karen Ruth Jones of Eugene, Ore. and Gail Jones Sprentall of Ridgway, Colo.; a granddaughter, Malinda Sprentall Linegar; and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife.
A celebration of his life will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, January 21, including an affirmation of life gathering at 2 p.m. at the Gate N Green Clubhouse, 13405 Main St. in Broomfield, Colorado 80020.