“My life has been filled with many incredible experiences. If “experience is the best teacher,” then I have had a lifetime of great teaching moments.”
~ James E. Jones
James Edward Jones, 87, went home to his Lord December 11, 2022. Born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Jim served as public school teacher, administrator, and college professor for over 50 years. He leaves a legacy of faith, commitment, love, and humor to Jane, wife of 65 years, children: Deirdre Anderson (Bruce), Bradley (Mary Ann Percarpio), Stephanie Bermudez (Edward), Treverton (Stacey Bade), Douglas (Nancy DiNapoli), Talmadge (Christel Rueckemann), Nathaniel (Audrey Griffin), and Lawry Stein (Andrew); 22 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.
During college, Jim developed his childhood fascination for ventriloquism and puppetry into a life-long avocation, ultimately establishing The Jones Family Puppets, creating over 200 puppet characters. A man of many talents, Jim was an author, wood carver, oil painter, as well as lay preacher and choir member at the New Milford Presbyterian Church. Never one to shy away from an engaging conversation or a good laugh, Jim touched many lives during his 87 years, and will be missed by friends and family alike.
In his last book, Keeping Up, Jim wrote:
“Sometimes life is difficult to figure out. Challenges and obstacles arise that were never in our plans. However, our Lord God is always there to take us by the hand and walk with us step-by-step and guide us through to the good He has for our lives. May you find comfort in the knowledge that our Lord is guiding your life; we are part of the miracles of our Creator. There are no accidents. Every experience has a purpose. May God bless you as He has blessed me throughout my life.”
Jim Jones led a life of Faith, Family, and Fun. A deeply spiritual person, Jim attended many different churches during his lifetime. At the core was his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As a committed husband, father, and grandfather, Jim excelled. He and Jane celebrated 65 years of marriage on October 19, 2022. He developed close relationships with his 8 children and their spouses, 22 grandchildren (and 5 spouses), and 4 great-grandchildren. His love of education and learning has impacted thousands of children over his 50 years as a teacher, Principal, Chief School Administrator, and College Professor.
The son of Marie Hummel Jones and Edward Jones, Wilkes-Barre, PA. He grew up the youngest of six children. Jim graduated from Coughlin High School, Wilkes College, and Queens College.
Teacher- 5th grade at School number 6, Cedarhurst, Long Island, NY.
Principal- Sowams Elementary School, Barrington, RI
Professor- Rhode Island College, Providence, RI
Principal- Alexander Hamilton Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
Chief School Administrator- Alpine Public School, Alpine, NJ
Principal- Radburn Elementary School, Fairlawn, NJ
Adjunct Professor, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ
Interim Principal- Leonia, NJ; New Milford, NJ; South Orange/Maplewood, NJ
Entertainer and Television
WBRE-TV, Host Variety Show, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Nathan’s Entertainment, Puppeteer & Ventriloquist. Oceanside, LI
Holiday House, Children’s Television Show, Puppeteer. WJAR-TV Providence, RI
Voice Actor for the Hasbro/Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Talking Telephone, Pawtucket, RI
Jones Family Puppets, Ridgewood, NJ. Performed off Broadway at the Sullivan Street
Playhouse, NY, NY. Locally, Northern NJ
Puppet Creator, Jones Family Puppets
The Joe Franklin Show, NYC
Oh Suzanna Restaurant, Flagler Beach, FL
Family Feud Winners, Richard Dawson Productions.Television City, CA
Uncle Danny Show, Danny Quinn Production. Poughkeepsie, NY
Newz for Kidz & Freedom. Spirit of America Productions/Broccoli Raab Entertainment, North Haledon/Fairfield, NJ
Affiliated Organizations and Avocations
Puppeteers of America, KY
Philmont Scout Ranch, 1974. Eagle Scout Board of Review. Ridgewood-Glen Rock Council
Friends of the Hermitage, Hohokus, NJ
Ridgewood High School Jamboree, Ridgewood, NJ
Author “Puppets in School” and “Keeping Up: One Man’s Biography”
A celebration of life will be held in the Spring