John Timothy Jones

December 2, 1956


May 7, 2020

John Timothy Jones

December 2, 1956


May 7, 2020

Surrounded by the love of his family, and supported in spirit by so many close friends, John Timothy Jones passed away from complications of an autoimmune disease on May 7, 2020. Born on Dec. 2, 1956, to James and Mary Ann Jones, John’s earliest years were spent playing baseball and picking crab apples near their family home on Pryor Lane in Billings. As a young man, he worked alongside his brothers in the family construction business. Together, they built the Jones cabin near Yellowstone National Park, which remains a cherished gathering place to this day. Taking great pride in his family and their work ethic, he carried the principles of a well-run jobsite to his future endeavors as a student, professional and patriarch. Venturing outside Montana after high school, he attended Willamette University and completed studies abroad at the University of Munich. While at Willamette, he met the love of his life, Darla, and forever endeared her at the campus Sweetheart Dance in February of 1979. They traveled across the country while he pursued a law degree at the University of Puget Sound, followed by an LL.M. degree in taxation from Boston University. Even in their small Boston apartment, John and Darla began their way of life together as unconditional hosts to close friends and family. Continuing his professional work, John clerked for the Montana Supreme Court in Helena. Then, in 1985, he began a long career at Moulton Bellingham PC in Billings, where his aptitudes were welcomed and his leadership encouraged. He loved his role and treasured the many professional and personal relationships he developed with his broad range of clients. John’s community contributions were many: he was dedicated to the philanthropic work of the C.M. Bair Family Trust, and served on the Rocky Mountain College Board of Trustees. Over his life, he coached several athletic teams, and he was overjoyed when former athletes passed him in town with a “Hey Coach Jones.” One memorable summer, he provided a Little League team in a small Montana town with their very first set of matching jerseys — and together they even enjoyed a winning season. There wasn’t much in the world that gave John more joy than helping those around him succeed. He and Darla raised two boys, Sean and Nathan. John encouraged his boys to find their own voice, and to consider the merits of opposing arguments. He was known to leave notes on the kitchen table, or letters on the boys’ bedroom dressers — through which he often imparted a kindness for humanity and a disregard for well-worn paths. Lucky enough to welcome two grandchildren into the world — Henry and Isabella — he formed immediate and unique bonds with both of them, their lives forever enriched for having met Grandpa Johnny. We remain amazed by his ability to bring excellence out of the people around him. The outpouring of support after his passing has been a testament to his love for others. Though he rounded the bases much too quickly, we find comfort in the assurance of him being home with the Heavenly Father. He is survived by his wife, Darla; sons, Sean (Elissa), Nathan (Carolina); grandson, Henry; granddaughter, Isabella; siblings, Pati (Laird), Kathy, Jimmy, Greg, Jerry (Ann), David (Kelly), Danny (Kari); mother-in-law, Lori Davis; brother-in-law, Tim Deering; sisters-in-law, Debby Deering and Pam Davis. He is preceded in death by his father, James W. Jones; mother, Mary Ann (Koebbe) Jones; youngest sister, Teresa Link; father-in-law, Daryl Davis and nephew, Brandon McAllister. A private family service will be held, followed by a celebration of life to be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to Family Promise of Yellowstone Valley, the AJ Blain Foundation, and Rocky Mountain College.

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30 thoughts on “John Timothy Jones”

  1. I am sadden at the news of John’s passing. As a neighbor on Patricia Lane, and as a friend to the Lowthian family, John’s outstanding work on behalf of the Lowthian Trust will always be remembered. As a teacher at Arrowhead Elementary, I called upon John to become involved in our “Invention Convention” and he came as our guest speaker to share everything he knew about how important it would be to create a lasting legacy through the formal patent process. John’s sons and their big yellow dog spent time at my home way back in the day. I taught his children at Arrowhead, and enjoyed seeing him about town making a huge difference in the lives of many. Please accept my heart felt sympathy, and I pray for each of you, as you learn to navigate the world a bit differently in the days, months, and years to come. Blessings of peace during this difficult time.

  2. Michele Braukmann

    John: You will forever be known to me as an incredible professional mentor, but most of all, friend. There are no words that can adequately express how much your support and leadership at MB meant for so many years of my life. I am so grateful to have known John for so long. I will never forget our many trips on captive insurance conferences, you hosting parties for our firm at your home, office functions, and my very first trial, which was with John. Our community will have a significant void now, but we are so blessed for how you touched so many of our lives.

    Darla and Family: Our prayers are with you. The love you all held for each other radiated, and it was an example of God’s goodness on this Earth. Our hearts ache, but we know that Heaven has received a gift.

    From Izzy, Jamison, Reese, Levi, and Michele — our prayers are surrounding you, Darla and Family.

  3. Bernie Hagen-Steffan

    John you were one in a million. Fabulous chef, friend, husband, father, grandfather and huge supporter of the community. You could brighten any room and we will truly miss you. Darla, you had the best. Watching the two of you together gave meaning to the words “soul mates”. Sean and Nate you had the finest example of a true gentleman. You may be gone from our eyes but forever in our hearts.
    Craig and Bernie

  4. There are some people you meet in life who catch your attention as being thoughtful and wise. John Jones was such a person for me. I got to know him well when I joined the Rocky Board of Trustees where he had already served a number of years. He brought valuable experience and advice to the table with that group, which I later called upon in my times of need. He could always be relied upon to provide good counsel and was a valued leader in our community. He and Darla were wonderful hosts at gatherings and always brought joy to any occasion. I will miss John and my prayers go out to him, Darla and the whole family. Billings has lost a great man!

  5. Donna Ingwaldson

    Darla, I am so very sorry for you and your family’s loss. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

  6. My deepest sympathy to the Jones family. I worked closely with John during the ’80-’90’s. Had alot of respect for him

  7. Scot R Schermerhorn

    Darla and family, so sorry for your loss. I was shocked to hear of John’s passing. I have many fond memories of John as we worked together at Moulton and enjoyed pheasant hunts together in the early 90’s while I lived in Billings. He was a good man.

  8. John helped me greatly in my legal career and always supported me during difficult times. John was a compassionate man with a big heart. He left way too early. The world was a much better place for having John in it. My heart goes out to Darla and the family. Nancy Bennett

  9. Great guy, great family. I recall when they moved in to our neighborhood in Billings. Classed up the place a bit. So sorry for your loss Darla and family. I always enjoyed my time being around John.

  10. Tori Noyes Reinlasoder

    What a huge loss for John’s family, friends and community. From the moment you met John you knew what an exceptional person he was. I had so much respect for John and will always have him in my heart. Condolences to Darla and his family

  11. So sorry to hear about Johnny. I moved from Montana after graduating from MSU in the early 80’s, so I only got to occasionally see him over the years since Billings West High. I have fond memories of John (and his brothers). My sincere thoughts are with the family.

  12. Dear Family of John Jones,

    I am writing to express my sincere condolences for the untimely passing of your beloved husband, father and grandfather, John.  I met John in high school.  My family moved to Billings before the start of my senior year of high school, so I found myself the new kid at Billings West.  It was daunting because I think there were around 800 students in our class, so I did not know most of my fellow students.  But I met John in classes and then we were seated next to each other at graduation because my maiden name was Jones.  John made a strong impression on me even though we were not close and did not communicate after that one year of high school.
    There are people you meet who you instantly know that they are good and kind, and  I also remember John being funny as well–you need some jokes to get through a long graduation!  I just wanted you to know that even in minimal contact, John’s goodness was felt.  I know your loss is profound, but I can assure you that John will always be vibrant and alive in each and every heart he touched.

    Having run an education foundation for the past 15 years, I have made a donation to Rocky Mountain College in John’s honor.

    My best wishes to you during this difficult time,
    Cindy (Jones) Folker

  13. I knew John from working with him in the title insurance aspect of commercial real estate transactions. John was always prepared and knew his clients side of the deal backward and forward. He was reasonable when talking through an issue and a pleasure to work with. We will miss him in the real estate business.
    My condolences to the Jones family for your loss.
    Carol Kirby

  14. Valerie Lembke

    My sincere sympathy to John’ s wife Darla, sons Sean and Nathan and his siblings. My earliest memories are our families together on Louise Lane. The Jones family are held close to my heart always and love each of you and grieve with you.

  15. To John’s Family,

    I was so sorry to hear that John passed away last week. My heart and prayers go out to you.

    Johnny was always positive, very funny, enjoying life with his many friends in school, playing football and having fun at fence-line on the rims. Although I haven’t seen John for a number of years, I will always remember him as a good friend, smiling and laughing.

    Stuart Vandel

  16. Weschenfelder Families

    Our connection to John lasted many many years. He was a wonderful attorney to us and we will miss him. We trust the Lord can be your strength at this time of loss. The Weschenfelder Families. Lil and Henry Weschenfelder, Dan and Paula Weschenfelder, Sue and Will Ketterling

  17. Christal Winterrowd

    Lots of people will remember John as the great person he grew into and how great and dedicated he was, kind, generous. As his cousin, I will remember running around Grandma’s farmhouse, climbing haystacks in the back and having Uncle Lawrence scold us to stay out of the wheat granaries. Thanksgiving dinners first at Grandma’s house and then at our house, where we would be up to 30 people strong, Aunts and Uncles, Moms and Dads, brothers, sisters and cousins, Easter sometimes at Aunt Mary Ann’s and Uncle Jim’s. I will forever be grateful to his generosity when I had legal woes that he solved in a single phone call. Johnnie will be greatly missed.

  18. Loretta J Rotellini

    My sincere condolences to you Darla and to your family. I was truly saddened to hear of John’s passing. My condolences to all of my cousins and their families as well. My heart goes out to you in this time of loss. May your love and memories help you find peace and know that John will be greatly missed by many.

  19. Mike Stevenson

    Jerry, Jimmy, Greg & David,
    I never met John or your sisters, but very sad to lose a brother. Time goes by too fast for all of us. It doesn’t seem that long ago when I first met your Dad and he referred to me as “young man”, which I was then. Hope all of you are well despite losing John too soon.

  20. Our condolences to all of the Jones family. My husband, Dale, became acquainted with the Jones family through the construction business and considered them great friends and mentors. It is very sad to see someone who made such a difference in many lives, have to struggle and suffer. Then heart breaking to loose them. Love and prayers to all of the family.

  21. Dear Jones family,
    I am so sorry to hear about John’s passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this sad time. i send my deepest condolences.

  22. Dear Jones Family,

    I have been reflecting on Johnny’s passing with sadness, nostalgia, and fond remembrances. He put up one heck of a fight–but that was so Johnny! I always admired John’s critical thinking and sense of humor. I’ll never forget his mischievous giggle! He was a great friend, great husband and father, and a great lawyer. He will be missed. Darla, Sean, and Nathan, please accept my deep sympathy. Thinking of you.


  23. Chuck and LouAnn Ball

    Johnny was a child hood friend and neighbor, He is a great guy that always had a great attitude. I have very fond memories of him playing at Rose Park and around the block. I attended grade school, junior high and high school where he got to know my wife LouAnn. WHAT A GUY!!!
    He will be missed my all who had a chance to spend any time with him. He made everyone a better person;

    Chuck & LouAnn Ball
    Billings West High Class of ’75

  24. We met John professionally as our legal advisor and through his philanthropic contributions, but we also knew him as a friend. He had a way of making us feel like we were his top priority even though he was extremely busy, and I’m sure he treated everyone this way. We are truly saddened by his passing and we will miss him! We send our sincere condolences to Darla, their sons and grandchildren and John’s entire family.

    Nicki and Rick Larson

  25. Bruce Koberstein

    Jones family, I was so sorry to find out about your loss.
    Although I wasn’t well acquainted with John I was always impressed by his presence.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  26. Lauren (Gehman) Alvarez

    I was so saddened to hear about John’s passing. I hadn’t seen John since high school but I will never forget the amazing and hilarious times we had together with our close knit group of friends from West High. Taking the ski bus up to Red Lodge on the weekends, hanging out on the Rim Rocks and playing on our school volleyball team we’re just a few of the things I will never forget. John was typically the level headed one of the group and always incredibly kind. My thoughts are with you all.

  27. Linda and Nick Cladis

    Dear Darla and family,
    John was such a handsome, talented and kind man. He was respected in both his professional and personal life. A great sense of humor and and his gift to stay humble—is an example to the rest of us. John’s faith was quietly noticed. He loved his family very much and always set a high standard for “how to treat your fellow man”. We feel privileged to have had his wisdom and friendship. He will be missed by so many. May your faith, family and friends help you through your significant loss.
    Warmest best wishes to all of you,
    Respectfully and Fondly,
    Linda and Nick Cladis

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