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Thomas Ray Jones
(April 19, 1939 - April 13, 2014)

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Thomas Ray Jones

Thomas Ray Jones was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma April 19, 1939, and died April 13, 2014 at the age of 74. His parents were Charles Ray Jones and Sarah Leslie (Greene) Jones.

He is survived by his wife Constance of Garfield, Arkansas, and his daughters Amy Elizabeth Jones and Sara Samantha Nelms (David), and grandchildren Ella Ray Nelms and Hollis Hearlson Nelms, all of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and step daughter Sloane McCaster (Rod) of Irving, Texas.

He had a wonderful life, full of travel and adventure. He completed his doctorate in playwriting at the University of Iowa, and taught theater and playwriting for more than 30 years, with many of those (1973 to 1988) at the University of Arkansas. He excelled at directing and was proud to bring thought-provoking, controversial productions to the University of Arkansas stage. He wrote plays his entire career, and achieved productions in New York, Los Angeles, and many cities in between. He won many awards, including the Drama League of New York Playwriting Competition for his play A Circle on the Cross. He published articles and novels, most recently, The History of Hank Fielding, A Foundling, by Tom Jones, Esq. He was the producer and host of Reaching Out, a television program celebrating the arts and non-profits, in Tacoma, Washington from 2000-2007.

He started running at age forty, and like everything else he did, he did it with gusto, competing in 782 career races, including 16 marathons, such as New York, Dallas, Chicago, and of course, the Hogeye.

He was an accomplished sailor, and was a long time member of the Beaver Lake Sailing Club.

He loved his family, his friends, and his pets.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to any NWA animal shelter, or Circle of Life Hospice.

Online condolences may be made at



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