Stan Jones, “Mr. Lake Powell,” Age 88
Stanley A. Jones, known affectionately as “Mister Lake Powell,” succumbed to prostate cancer and internal complications on Monday, September 3, 2007, at the Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona. Boater, hiker, photographer, writer and publisher, he was an authority on Arizona and Utah history whose special interest was in the Colorado Plateau area he called “Lake Powell Country.” He designed, wrote and published numerous books, contributed photos and articles to many periodicals, and for more than thirty years published an annually updated map of Lake Powell containing 20,000 words of information on “the lure and the lore” of the area. The map, now produced by Steve and Gay Ann Ward of Page, has been called “the bible” of Lake Powell Country.
Stan was born on October 2, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, the eldest son of Max Hoover Jones and Rosalind Munn Jones. He was raised in Winnetka, Illinois (where he graduated from New Trier High School as a champion springboard diver) and at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The warm climate of Arizona beckoned him in 1942, and he settled in Tucson. From there he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a World War II instructor of aquatic survival for carrier-based fighter pilots. Stan’s younger brother, Ralph Kenneth Jones, was killed in action while piloting a B-24 bomber over Ploesti, Romania.
Following the war, Stan was editor and circulation manager for several weekly newspapers in the west, and then worked as a staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune (under the byline Stan Lee Jones), before joining Walt Disney Productions in Burbank, California. His first Disney assignments were as publicist for Fess Parker, who became famous as “Davy Crockett,” the film character in the coonskin cap, and for the very popular Mickey Mouse Club television show. Later, as Director of Radio, TV and Theater-Screen Advertising, he produced many of the “trailers” (previews of coming attractions) for Disney motion pictures in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. He eventually left Disney to return to Tucson, first serving as Associate Director of the University of Arizona News Bureau, and later founding Sun Country Publications, which he and his wife Alice owned and operated for more than 40 years.
Stan Jones and Alice Skinner Slater were married at Elko, Nevada on April 11, 1955. (A son, Steven Dana Jones, was born to them one year later.) The bride, a descendant of a Utah pioneer family, was the great-granddaughter of an English immigrant who had walked behind a hand-cart from Missouri to Utah at the age of six. Stan, Alice and Steve moved to Page in 1967 anticipating the popularity of huge new man-made Lake Powell as a recreation area. As the new lake’s waters rose behind Glen Canyon Dam, Stan spent three years exploring and photographing the region before beginning to share his findings in print. Especially active in their community of Page, Stan and Alice co-founded (with June Sanderson) the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum, where Stan served as the first director and a member of the Board of Directors for many years. He was president of the Page Library Board and, later, a board member. Stan and Alice contributed many books and valuable papers to the Library and Museum. “Books,” said a friend, “were their passion.” Yet Stan often said “Friends are the most valuable things in life.”
Stan also served as Commander of an American Legion Post and board member of the International Natural Arch and Bridge Society, and in 2002 was inducted into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame. He is survived by a sister, Geraldine Jones Carney, of Evanston, Illinois; a son, Steven Dana Jones, a Minister of Worship at Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California; two daughters from a previous marriage: Jeanine Jones and Sherryl Ann Jones Wagoner, both of Lake Havasu, California; two step-sons: Frank R. Slater of Page, and Ed Slater of Fresno, California; plus many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Stan is preceded in death by his brother Ralph, his wife Alice and her son, Robert G. Slater.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum in Page.
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