Almanac

News - June 19, 2013

Longtime Menlo School teacher and coach dies

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 29, for Robert W. F. Jones, who died June 7 at his home in Menlo Park from complications associated with leukemia. He was 77.

For 40 years, Mr. Jones was associated with Menlo School, teaching Latin, English, Spanish and creative writing. He led the Drama Club for many years, the annual Ugly Man contest, and was faculty adviser to the student paper. He also coached track, football, golf, wrestling, basketball, and other sports. His health forced him into retirement in 2000.

"Bob was and remains a legend in the Menlo community," wrote Norm Colb, newly retired as head of school at Menlo. "Even today, when graduates reminisce about what made their experience so memorable, Bob Jones tops the list. He was a brilliant teacher whose dedication to his students literally knew no bounds."

Mr. Jones was born in Columbia, South Carolina, moved to Hollywood as a toddler, then to New York City, and, eventually, to Westfield, New Jersey.

During his stint in the U.S. Army, he was sent to the North Pole. After service, he graduated from Lafayette College. He then headed west to graduate school at Stanford University, where he earned a master's degree and supported himself by working at the Oasis Beer Garden in Menlo Park and betting on the horses, say family members. He accepted a teaching position at Menlo School in 1960.

Mr. Jones was a golfer, accomplished guitarist and pianist, avid St. Louis Cardinal baseball fan, and "collector of bad horror movies," say family members.

He is survived by his wife Ellen, children Marcus, Aida and Lura; and six grandchildren. A son, Thomas, died in infancy.

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