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Rodrigo Reginald Jones

03/11/1936 - 06/08/2023
Service Date: 06/17/2023
Service Time: 11:00am
Service Location: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 2334 E Pueblo Ave , Mesa, AZ 85204
Visitation Date: 06/17/2023
Visitation Time: 10:00am
Visitation Location: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 2334 E Pueblo Ave , Mesa, AZ 85204

Rod, Rodrigo, Rodney Reginald Jones

I was the second son of Reginald Charles Jones, from a pioneer, California family, and Gunhild Albertina Karlsson. Mom was born and lived in Sweden until about the age of 16. She and her family immigrated to the US through Ellis Island and the immigration people changed her name to Helen Alberta Carlson.

I was born March 11, 1936. I was raised in Avra Valley, about 25 miles South of Marana, Arizona. My older brother was Rollin Clayton Jones and my younger brother was Colby Charles Jones. I returned home to my Heavenly Father, I hope, on June 8th 2023.

In the Valley, Dad owned a cotton and cattle operation. We lived in a house on a full section of land, overlooking the ranch, and the beautiful Valley with its lovely mountains, just West of the Tucson Mountains. Dad also had farming operations in Yuma and Nyland, California, and would take off in his plane to supervise the other farms. Milewide road was his dirt landing strip! Summers were spent working as a Zanjero or with the feedlot. Winters: picking, stomping, or hauling trailers of cotton to the gin at Marana.

Obituaries seem mostly to be about the deceased ‘s history and accomplishments, so to continue: I graduated from Marana High School, about 25 miles from the ranch, in 1954, with the largest graduating class in its history, 23!

I wanted to spend the rest of my life on the ranch, but my folks packed my bags and sent me to the University of Arizona to become educated and possibly… Civilized. My second year at U of A, I decided to join a fraternity, but the “Hick from the sticks”, always wearing Levi’s, boots, and cowboy shirts received no offers to join any fraternity. I decided to conform the next semester and bought light blue trousers, a white, button-down shirt to match my white, suede shoes that I had used as a drum major in high school, and a yellow, v-neck sweater. I became a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and later was elected president for two terms. Any leadership skills I began to acquire, I attribute to my membership in Theta Chi.

Too much leadership at Theta Chi and too little scholarship led to my dropping out of U of A and going to work for Phoenix Title and Trust in Tucson as an escrow officer trainee, and Escrow Officer for a couple of years.

My life took a real turn from working in the title insurance and escrow, when I was called to be a missionary for the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, I was called to serve in Mexico for 2 1/2 years. Words can never express the joy and happiness and gratitude I still feel these many years later for having had the opportunity to serve as a missionary of my Heavenly Father’s.

After my mission I returned home to my parents in Marana and searched for work in Tucson. No luck! Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun were enemy territory since I was a U A Wildcat, but hunger forced me to humble myself and look to find work in Tempe, under the foreboding shadow of ASU.

Escrow and real estate were my main careers for many years. When times were rough, as in the late 1980s and early 90s I became a teacher; The most satisfying work I ever engaged in.

Living in Tempe, I began attending the young adult dances at ASU and met the most beautiful, best dancer and most popular girl attending the LDS institute and soon married Joy Christensen in the Arizona Temple, in Mesa. During our 35-year marriage we had seven children together: Joy “Victoria” (Harold), Sarah “Jane” (Chris), Rodney “Bruce” (Lynell), “Aaron” Christensen (Alicia), “Julia” Alice, “Maria” Elena (Travis), and Gary Carlos. I am survived by 33 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. My other, adopted children are Israel Rodrigo Jones and Omar Rodrigo Jones.

Growing years for the children were years of boating, camping, trips to Mexico, and always, a backyard pool.

During my marriage to Joy, and while having beautiful, intelligent and fun-loving, faithful children; I managed to attend one year of law school at ASU, earn a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin-American Area Studies from ASU and a Master’s degree in Bilingual Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University. I’ve always felt proud of having been able to study at all three of our state’s universities.

After my divorce from Joy in 1999, I continued teaching for a short time and then began in real estate again. I also formed Sign On Time, mobile signers, a mobile notary public service.

In 2002 I met Jerry Jones, who had just moved to Arizona from San Antonio, Texas. We had our wedding ceremony at home in Mesa. Later, in 2008 we were married in Palm Springs, California, where same sex marriages were legal. We have worked together as owners of Sign On time, in real estate, traveled together and enjoyed each other’s love and companionship. Jerry has been my greatest strength, friend, and love since we first met.

Life has been a series of beautiful experiences, learning, growing, helping others through church work, and opening our home to others who have needed a place to stay while they formed a foundation for their lives. The hard times, few, the joyful times many! I know that my Redeemer lives.


Rod passed away on June 8, 2023 after a short illness. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 10am for visiting and at 11am for a funeral at 2334 E. Pueblo Ave. Mesa 85204. You may also join us via zoom for the live service at 11am  https://zoom.us/j/95219044267


Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


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