GRANGEVILLE, Idaho — Leo Laurence Jones passed away in Grangeville, Idaho, on December 25, 2018. Leo was one of eleven children born to John A. Jones and Amelia Tellier Jones. Leo was born in St. Ignatius on Dec. 6, 1943, joined in birth by his twin brother, Loubert. He spent much of his upbringing with his maternal grandparents, Laurette and Annie Broncheau Tellier. The 11 children in birth order included: Alfred, Kenneth, Marie Jones Ashley, Adeline Jones Upton, Earl Dennis, Pauline Jones Nicholson, Leo, Loubert, Ira, Dalon, and Vickie Jones Belgard. Leo was very proud to be an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, a veteran of the U.S. Army and a graduate of the University of Montana.
Leo was raised and attended school in St. Ignatius. He grew up playing with his brothers and sisters and they created many fond memories, raising heck and having great adventures on Mission Creek. He enjoyed the family traditions of hunting and fishing throughout his lifetime and passed that love and appreciation for nature to his children. He was an accomplished athlete and played baseball on little league through Babe Ruth teams in his youth and played with local teams in his young adulthood. He was an avid collector of baseball cards. In his later years with his brothers and friends, he expanded his fishing and hunting experiences by fishing for salmon on the south fork and main stem of the Clearwater River in Idaho and hunting for elk and moose in the Lochsa River area, exercising the Nez Perce treaty rights. He enjoyed being outdoors and loved the sun.
Leo served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Panama during the 1964 Panamanian Riots and had many stories to tell from that experience. Upon his honorable discharge from the Army, he returned home to Montana and started a new phase in his life. He met and married Dorothy Teigen and they were blessed with two children, Sheldon and Shelley. They later divorced. During this time he began his work career, like many other young men, at the Dupuis Lumber Mill in Polson. He had various other jobs, but decided to follow his love of art and moved his family to Missoula, to attend the University of Montana. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art in 1979. He was very talented and created amazing paintings, drawings and portraits.
Another phase in Leo’s life happened in about 2010 when he moved to Kamiah, Idaho, to work for the Nez Perce Tribe at the tribal casinos. He returned to his mother’s homeland and enjoyed what the area offered. He retired from work life in 2015.
Leo had the family good looks, a unique sense of humor and a great wit that will be remembered and missed by all who knew him. Leo is survived by his children, Sheldon Jones and Shelley Jones, grandchildren, Taylor Ohl and Dylan Ohl, and siblings, Ken, Marie Ashley, Pauline Nicholson (Del), Loubert (Norma), Ira (Alice)and Vickie Belgard (Davy) and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and siblings, Alfred, Adeline Upton, Dennis and Dalon.
There will be a viewing on Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 3-7 p.m. at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Graveside services will be held at the Catholic Cemetery in St. Ignatius on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. with luncheon to follow at the Longhouse.