Jack Jones, grower and entrepreneur from Quincy, Washington, was known for doing things in a big way. He welcomed new challenges as he diversified from the family’s potato growing and packing operation to growing tree fruit and wine grapes to building a winery and a large custom grape crushing facility. Jones, 73, died March 13.
Jones, the middle child, with two older sisters and two younger brothers, was born in Twin Falls, Idaho. The family moved to Washington’s Columbia Basin in 1954 to farm a new region developed as a result of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project. His father grew potatoes and field crops and built a successful fresh potato storage and packing operation in Quincy.
In 1969, Jones married Patricia Flanagan and farmed with his father-in-law, Sid Flanagan, growing forages and sugar beets. He eventually purchased the business from Sid, and in 1983, rejoined Jones Produce with his brothers.
He planted his first apple orchard in the early 1980s and soon planted pears and cherries, later adding a large cold storage facility for his tree fruit. He developed relationships with Orondo Fruit, Washington Cherry Growers, and Domex Super Fresh Growers.
Jones continued to diversify his farming operations and planted his first wine grape vineyard in 1997 on the Wahluke Slope near Mattawa.
Five years later, the Jones family launched a winery called Jones of Washington, which was named Washington State Winery of the Year in 2012 by Northwest Wine Press. In 2008, Jones and Dick Shaw of Shaw Vineyards became partners in J and S Crushing and converted a potato storage facility in Mattawa into one of the largest custom crush facilities in the state.
Survivors include his four children, Jeff, Greg, Maureen, and Megan Jones.
Melissa Hansen is the research program director for the Washington State Wine Commission. Hansen previously was an associate editor at Good Fruit Grower from 1996 through 2015.
Read her stories: Author Index