29th May – FLINTSHIRE LEADER
By Aaliyah Rugg
Funeral arrangements have been made for Alun Jones who touched the hearts of many people
A FAMILY has paid tribute to a local ‘hero’ who touched the hearts of a lot of people.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Alun Jones, of Flint, who died at the age of 72 from an infection whilst battling cancer.
Mr Jones died on Tuesday, May 21 and leaves behind wife Lorraine, children Jamie Jones (44) and Zoe Cottam (48) and four grandchildren.
Daughter Zoe told the Leader that her dad was a caring man and would do anything for anyone.
She said: “He was a man that cared. He was a caring, hard-working man who always put everybody before himself by going that extra mile.
“He was a generous and loving father, and a humble man. Nothing would ever be a problem because he would go out of his way to help people. He touched a lot of people.”
Mr Jones took over the family business in the 1980s which was honoured by the Mayor of Flint.
The Leader has previously reported that Mr Jones – the third generation and owner of Jones Motor Services, Flint – celebrated over 100 years in business and he received an award at a ceremony at the Town Hall in 2013.
The company was founded in 1898 by his grandfather Edward Jones and the 72-year-old was also previously the owner of the Spar garage and convenience store in Flint.
Mr Jones was also a member and past chairman of the Roundtable and Rotary club and past chairman of Flint FC. As well as that, he was the chairman of Flint lifeboat and received a medal for 25 years of service.
Mrs Cottam added: “He’s been a part of Flint Lifeboat for years, and they’re going to carry him down in the funeral.
“He did a lot for St Kentigern’s as well (local hospice in St Asaph) which was a charity that was quite close to his heart, and one that he’d used to help raise money for. He used to do raffles and different things to send money over to them.
“He was a businessman, a family man, and a bit of a jack of all trades, but I honestly don’t know how he found the time.”
Mr Jones was also president of Flint Town Football Club, chairman of the Flint and Holywell Round Table and the former chairman of the Flint Citizens Advice Bureau. He was also a member of the organising committee for Flint bonfire and firework display for four decades.
Mrs Cottam said: “A lot of people have called him a ‘hero’ and said that I’m blessed to have him as a dad. If I could be half the person he was, I’d be a better person. You couldn’t ask for a better dad.
“We’re devastated, but he’s at peace now.
“We’ve asked for there to be no flowers, but for money to be donated to St Kentigern’s.”
The funeral will take place at 12pm on June, 4 at Pentre Bychan in Wrexham.
Alan Forrester, lifeboat station manager, worked with Mr Jones for many years and he said he will be sadly missed.
He told the Leader: “He was a very well respected member of the community and he did a lot for Flint.
“He was chairman of our committee for many, many years and was involved in anything and would do everything that was going on.
“He was a polite and pleasant person and will be sadly missed by the community of Flint.”
Secretary of Flint and Holywell Rotary Club with AJ’s ‘family wife’ Lorraine and ‘business wife’ Theresa – at the celebration of Alun’s life
ALUN’S STORY (Read at the celebration of life service on 21st May 2019) :
Born in Connah’s Quay on 27th November 1946 Alun was one of five children of Doris and Gwillym Jones. The family owned Jones Motor Services, but as his grandad delivered paraffin oil he was known as ‘Jones the Oil’, which is how the family nickname began. Alun had very happy childhood memories of playing in Swinchard Fields, of making go-carts using orange boxes and pram wheels which he used to go bonking up and down the hills. Although it must be said ‘bonking’ then was not the same as bonking today!
A source of great pride to Alun was, he was picked to go for running trials by Ron Pickering, something he dined out on for many years, and would often roll his trouser legs up to display his fine athlete’s legs!
There was never any doubt where Alun’s future lay and after leaving school he joined the family business, where he helped Dougie who was a panel beater and sprayer. He passed his driving test at 17 and began driving taxis, wedding cars and helping the local funeral director, eventually taking over and becoming a funeral director himself for several years.
Never one to rest on his laurels Alun passed his PSV when he was 21 and began driving coaches. He loved his work, and his customers were very important to him. Alun was a brilliant storyteller and had he got around to finishing his life book of all the weird and wonderful things that happened to him over the years during the course of his work, it would have been a best seller!
In the 80s he ran the family business with his brother and brother in law for a number of years. Alun then went on to focus on the development the holiday and retails side of the business.
Behind every successful man there is a successful woman, now Alun was exceptionally lucky in this respect – because he had two! He had his home wife Lorraine, and his work wife Theresa …wasn’t he lucky!
Alun and Theresa worked together for over 30 years. Alun and Theresa were very close, and she knew what he was thinking, sometimes before he did! Alun never had problems, he had challenges, and Theresa helped him deal with the challenges that came up every day. Theresa became a very good friend to both Alun and Lorraine.
Alun and Lorraine met at a party when they were 16. During their courting days many of her friends went out with their boyfriends on the bus, not Alun and Lorraine, They went out in a London taxi, wedding cars, and even a hearse! Alun knew how to treat a girl.
He was a trendy young man who quite fancied himself as a Buddy Holly lookalike, and he had the moves to go with it. Both Alun and Lorraine were regulars at The Lido where they loved to jive the night away.
They married on 16th June 1968 and over the next few years their two children Zoë and Jamie were born. Alun worked long hours, and the children knew they had to share their dad with his other babies, his coaches. But when he came home they had his undivided attention. He was relaxed, easy going and fun, Alun loved family days out at the beach always with a picnic, Friday nights ten-pin bowling, family crazy golf tournaments, but punctuality was not his strong suit as he was often held up in work.
One of the first things Alun did when he came home from work was take his socks of, which he would roll up and shove just about anywhere. Lorraine used to find them all over the place. But at his first meeting with his future son in law the convenient place that day was down the front of his trousers, which was a bit of a surprise for Gary! His daughter in law Seline was spared such a treat!
When he became a grandad to Alani, Alex, Samuel and Harry, Alun was determined to spend as much time with them as he could. Gramps took them out on many trips, trampolining at Bounce Below, the beach, Anfield, museums, he’d just get them all bundled up in a mini bus and off they’d go. After one day trip the children came home in fits of laughter after Gramps had taken a tissue out of his pocket and a £20 note also came out and blew away. Gramps went off like a rocket after it and dived on it. He waved it in the air and shouted, I saved the ice cream money”.
As you will no doubt remember Alun was a little impulsive and very adventurous, and was not afraid to try anything. He abseiled, went up in a microlight, and would have loved to jump out of a plane.
A slightly safer past time was gardening. Alun loved his garden and would get totally absorbed in what he was doing. But it was a good job he didn’t go into hairdressing as everything was pruned to within an inch of its life. No matter how many times Lorraine showed him he couldn’t tell the difference between a weed and a plant, and would pull out a plant to give a weed more room to grow.
Alun would take on any job and would get very excited if it meant he could use power tools. But the mere mention of power tools had Lorraine quaking in her boots. He had loads, but when he said he was going to get a chain saw Lorraine put her foot down. Alun was so accident-prone she worried he may lose a leg.
But even in the garden Lorraine couldn’t take her eyes off him, just in case he was tempted to get the ladder out, as he fell off that more than once, one time he fell off and was dangling upside down by his foot for over 30 minutes!
He collected old photographs of Flint and was a member of the Flint Historic Society; he played golf and was a member of Pennant Park Golf club. He enjoyed music, the family bought him a drum kit for Christmas one year, which he loved playing. It was impossible for anyone to identify the tune he was playing, but he had a good time.
Another love in his life was Liverpool FC. As a young man he was a Chester fan, but after taking a coachload of fans to Anfield he was converted. He became a season ticket holder and went to every home match possible, usually with a coachload behind him.
Holidays were when he relaxed. Alun and Lorraine travelled far and wide, but Alun also looked forward to his weekend breaks in Llandudno. Family holidays with the grandchildren were very special to Alun, particularly when they went to Euro Disney. The first time they flew over, but the second time they went by coach.10 people on a 53 seater coach. On the way back boarder security were very surprised and slightly suspicious of so few on such a big coach. So they got on board to inspect. What they saw was 10 people all tired and somewhat disheveled, but what surprised them the most was the train set they had set up and had running around the coach!
As busy as he was, Alun found time to be involved in various club and groups. For many years he was an active member of several trade associations. He was the longest serving member of the Flint & Holywell Round Table, until the group disbanded. Past president of the Rotary, and Flint Football Club, Former chairman of Flint CAB, a member of the 41 Club. And he was very proud to be Chairman of Flint Lifeboats for over 30 years and would have been very proud and honoured that they escorted him here today.
Alun had a great sense of humour, loved a laugh and was never afraid to make a fool of himself. He hosted many reunion tours when he and his staff would dress up in fancy dress to raise money for St Kentigans Hospice. He also on occasion opened up his garden to help raise funds, as it was a charity very close to his heart.
With that in mind any donations made in memory of Alun will also go to St Kentigan’s Hospice.
Alun was a kind, generous and humble man, who never had a bad word to say about anyone. Someone who never took life too seriously, except when it came to his family – who he adored. Alun and Lorraine were married for over 50 years. Alun used to joke that the first 25 were hell and the second 25 were fantastic. He instilled the values of hard work and decency into his family and inspired them to be the best that they could be, and they feel blessed to have had him in their lives …and no doubt everyone here feels the same!