Art Jones passed away peacefully on June3, 2021 at the age of 83 with family at his side. Art was born in Melfort, Saskatchewan on December 10, 1937 , the first son to Robert and Connie Jones in a family of 8 children. At a young age, the family moved to Balzac, where Art attended school until grade 8, when he quit to help out his Dad and begin his working career.
During this time, Art worked various jobs, dabbled in rodeo, and was known for being one of the best horseman for breaking and training horses in the area at the time.
In 1958, he married the love of his life, Marjorie Cowan and they lived in an old greyhound bus until they could save enough money to start out on their own. Together, they raised 5 children, John (Bonnie), Wes, Lori (John) Harnack, Barb (Marvin) Jackson and Brenda (Larry) Werk.
In 1980, Art and Marj purchased a section of land near Sundre, and together they both worked hard at making it one of the prettiest properties in the area.
During this time, he and Marj were also hostesses for the Sundre School "Grade 5 camp" program which ran for many years on that property. There was not much more,that Art loved, than seeing a child happy and the beauty of nature.
Throughout the 80's, Art could be found at draft horse sales and shows across the province showcasing,the name he and Marj built, "Clear Creek Percherons." He loved a good horse, a horned hereford cow, and better yet, to pick apart someone elses with the witty and joking way most were familiar with. He and Marjorie were great hosts, and it was not uncommon to see signatures from people across North America, the Canadian Provinces and even Japan in their guestbook. Visitors were often talked into a visit to the family obstacle course and then a trip to the rigged "Tarzan" swing across a body of water, where most would end up wet to Art's delight. Together, he and Marj threw some of the most memorable parties through the years, yet he would trade it in a second, to entertain his 10 grandchildren around a late night campfire, at his campground.
Art loved his family, but he ADORED his grandchildren. If any of them needed anything, he made it happen somehow. From building rodeo and corral playsets and barns to lending out a horse out when needed, Grandpa was there. He was their biggest fan in anything they ever did, even though he hardly attended any events in person. But it was a guarantee, when they got home that Grandpa would call, see how they did and to ask them if they had made him any Cash......
Art was a rare combination of someone who had a love for life, and a firm understanding of what was important. I am sure most of his grandchildren each have their own memories of hanging off the old coat hook in a tree by a belt loop for misbehaving. It was Art's simple way of showing them right from wrong, but with love.
In the later years, after Marjorie passed away, Art could be found patrolling the Eagle Hill area his white Ford Mercury cars, which had an incredible resemblance to an unmarked police car. Art loved that, and would laugh at the people braking when they seen him, and would laugh even harder at those that were afraid to pass him and would follow him for miles going 40 km/hour. His route always changed, but the destination was always the same, usually to Tim Hortons and home. Many people would flag him down and invite him in for coffee, but he rarely went. To those that did, please know it was nothing personal, Art just didn't want to be bothering people or feel like he was intruding. If you had stopped at his place he would have visited for hours, and given you the tour.
Many will miss Art, but we know his legacy will live on.
Close the Gate (For Dad)
By Nancy Kraayenhof
For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head,
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.
Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.
You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son,
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.
A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and here now is the end of your day.
Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.
You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow,
Take off your gloves and put them down, no more sweat and worry for you now.
Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you wait,
Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.
Art will be laid to rest June 10 at the Eagle Valley Cemetery beside his loving wife Marjorie. Although it will be his immediate family only at the graveside service, Art will be taking a final journey from his beloved farm to his final resting place by a team of Percheron horses, and a wagon he handcrafted himself. Community, family, and friends are invited to pay their respects to Art as he makes his trip beginning at 12:30 along the roadside.
We will be holding an informal send off later in July on his property in Celebration of a life well lived.