MENTONE — A World War II veteran who served northern Indiana as a minister will celebrate his 100th birthday with his friends and family.
T.R. Jones and his wife Louise, 92, both residing in Mentone, will celebrate with the families of their sons: Jim and Kent; daughter, Lee Ann; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and family friends on June 9 at the Mentone Fire Department.
Jones, who served as minister at the Mentone Church of Christ and remains a member of the church, started life on a farm in Calloway County, Ky., ad served as a medic in the 200th Medical Battalion, 20th Armored Division, United States Army.
He met Louise during a church service in Murray, but they wouldn’t see each other again until five years later when they were both students at Murray State College. They will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in June.
While Jones was stationed in Germany, France and Belgium, he often organized Bible studies with his fellow soldiers, a trait he would carry on in civilian life.
Preaching for 50 years throughout Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, Jones also worked as a middle and high school English teacher and, until a few years ago, kept a large vegetable garden.
As for reaching his centennial, Jones says his secrets to a long life are: loving God, loving your neighbor as yourself, working hard and singing.
Jones enjoys reading his Bible, growing tomatoes, playing guitar with his son and grandson, telling jokes, playing checkers and baking peanut butter cookies.
For his 99th birthday celebration, Jones’ granddaughter, Chelsea, made him a cake designed to resemble his own Bible, with his name on the bottom corner. While the design of this year’s cake remains a mystery, it is certain to commemorate a long life, well-lived.