Raymond Callaway Jones, 77, of Bryan and co-owner of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home and Crematory, passed away Monday, August 17, 2009 at St. Joseph Regional Health Center. Visitation is set from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home in Bryan. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, August 20, 2009, at A-M United Methodist Church in College Station. Interment will follow at College Station City Cemetery.
Raymond Callaway Jones grew up near the Piney Woods of Houston County, Texas. His life is a story of family and tradition. Raymond's grandfather, the late C.H. Callaway, opened the first funeral home in Crockett about 1908; his children followed into the profession.
During WWII, a manpower shortage hit funeral homes. The county judge granted 12-year-old Raymond a drivers license so that he could make ambulance calls. Thus, Raymond's career began early from assisting with funerals to digging graves. Subsequently, he enjoyed a lifetime of commitment to the funeral profession and always treasured the friendships he made while helping others.
Following graduation from Crockett High School, he became Fish Jones at the Annex on HWY 21. A proud member of Texas A-M Class of 1953, he graduated with a BBA in accounting. Also in 1953, he became co-founder with family in the establishment of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home in Bryan. He graduated from Commonwealth Funeral Institute in 1959. He was a certified member Emeritus of the Academy of Preferred Funeral Service Practice. His achievement of the CFSP designation indicates the high regard he had for his profession. He was awarded outstanding Funeral Director of the year by the Southeast Texas Funeral Directors Association. In June 2009, at the TFDA Conference, Raymond received the 50-Year Award, recognizing him for his dedication and service.
Tradition continued with Raymond's son Michael David Jones, who joined the firm in 1979, and later with his dad opened the first Crematory in the Brazos Valley. In 2004, Raymond lost his treasured partner, friend, and son, when Mike died from Leukemia. Raymond was proud that Mike's son, Cody Douglas Jones, became a 5th generation funeral director and became his granddad's partner.
Raymond was a 56-year member of the A-M United Methodist Church and had served as treasurer and as a trustee. He was past president of the Bryan Jaycees; member and past president of The Better Business Bureau of the Brazos Valley; member and past president of the College Station Kiwanis Club; past president of the Son's of the Republic of Texas (William Joel Bryan Chapter); past commander of the Son's of Confederate Veterans (Sul Ross Camp); a 52 year Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite, and a Shriner; member of OPAS; member of the 12th Man Foundation and Association of Former Students of TAMU.
At the age of 16, Raymond joined the 36th Division of the Texas National Guard. After 35 years including service during Korea and Vietnam, he retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a Lt. Colonel. He was a member of the Military Officers Association of America.
Raymond married his childhood friend and sweetheart, Dian Bennett, and they were blessed with two children. Earlier this year, they celebrated their 58th year of marriage.
Raymond was a Christian, a kind-hearted southern gentleman, and a gentle soul. He was a Civil War buff, enjoyed fishing and the outdoors, especially Galveston and Camp Creek. He liked to read military history books and stories by Leon Hale, looked forward to attending A-M football games (especially bowl games), but most of all he loved being with family and friends.
Raymond was preceded in death by his son, Michael David Jones.
Survivors include his devoted wife, Dian B. Jones, of Bryan; son, Raymond C. Jones Jr., of Bryan; brother and sister-in-law, Manley and Mary Jones, of Mozelle, Mississippi; daughter-in-law, Lorene Jones, of Bryan; grandsons, Cody D. Jones, of Bryan, and Christopher Jones, of Tampa, FL; granddaughter, Joy Jones, of St. Petersburg, FL; nieces Heather (Jones) Taylor and Cheryl (Jones) Mountin; step-nieces, Kim Proffitt and Cindy Matte; numerous cousins and dear friends.
Pallbearers will be Jerry Barton, Pete Clary, Mike Greer, Cody Dick, Raymond Jones Jr., and Christopher Jones. Serving as honorary pallbearers are Charles Monroe, Austin Winters, Tom Sistrunk, Gene Woodell, Jerry Esser, Rick Larson, Bill Roman, and Louis Crespo.