CENTRALIA — Kenneth Duane Jones, 71, of Centralia joined his high-school sweetheart and wife of 50 years, Leagene, in heaven on Friday, May 10, 2013.
He was born April 4, 1942, in Mattoon, IL, the son of Winfred and Helen(Kabbes) Jones who preceded him in death. He married Leagene King on August 18, 1962, and she preceded his death on May 27, 2012.
Ken is survived by his four children: Kristine Barton of Coronado, California; Pam Evischi and husband Dee of Centralia; Kenny Jones and wife Lori Ann of Bowling Green, Kentucky; and Cheryl Beggs and husband Gary of Centralia; his 18 grandchildren, Brenda Kertz and husband Justin; Katie, Bobby, Johnny, Cheyenne, Lila and Jolenna Barton; Kenny, Lainey, Charlie, and Elle Evischi; Abbie, Jack, Lily, and Rebekah Jones; Nolan, Sophia, and Samuel Beggs; and one great grandchild, baby Kertz, expected in December 2013. Ken is also survived by his brother, Bob Jones and wife Judy and nephews Garth and Tyler Jones all of Mattoon, IL. He also leaves behind many dear friends who have been so kind to him during his illness.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, granddaughter Rebekah Jones and special nephew Tyler Jones.
Ken graduated from Mattoon High School, a star three-sport athlete. He attended the University of Missouri on a four-year full football scholarship and graduated in 1964. Ken taught and coached at the high school level for many years at Mahomet and Centralia High School. He worked alongside Lea in the family drapery business and later managed and retired from Fredmans Furniture store in Centralia.
Ken was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who was always there to support and encourage his children and grandchildren. He always had a smile and a kind word for those who crossed his path. His family jokingly referred to him as the “Mayor” because he knew no strangers. He loved late night cruises and dancing with his wife Lea. Ken was an avid golfer, the self-proclaimed “family champ“, and was always eager for his next golf outing with his buddies. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed talking politics, joking around, and visiting with the guys at his many favorite hangouts — Greenview Golf Course, the Corner Café, Centralia Car Quest, Centralia Coin, and the Lantern Pub.
Ken will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. We love you we do; we love you we do; we love you dear Grandpa; we love you we do!
Following cremation, as he requested, a Celebration of Ken and Lea’s Lives and Reception will be held at the Roundhouse Winery, 1938 Dogwood Lane, Centralia, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday, May 17, 2013.
For those who wish, memorials may be made to the Centralia High School Athletics and will be accepted at the funeral home.
Anyone wishing to send condolences may do so at irvinfuneralhome.com, or by mailing them to Irvin Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1155, Centralia, IL 62801.
To leave condolences online, visit www.jg-tc.com, click on obituaries, select the individual’s name and click on “Comments” to log in.