Jerry Ray Jones passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 3, 2022, at the age of 94. He was born August 27, 1927 in Wichita Falls, Texas as the youngest of 8 children to Charles Rolla and Maude Lee Jones. He spent his formative years there, then moved to Fort Worth where he married Lura Trichel and began his 68 year career with Convair/General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin. They had two children, Vicki and Paul, and lived in Benbrook, Texas.
The family moved to San Diego, California in 1971 where Jerry continued his career with General Dynamics until he was selected to head the new European Office in Brussels, Belgium in 1976. As the Managing Director he led teams in Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway in transferring production technology to manufacture the F-16 fighter. In 1984 he moved to Ankara, Turkey and was promoted to Vice-President - Turkish Joint Venture and was the Deputy Chairman and General Manager of the new Turkish Aerospace Industries and served in that capacity for 15 years. In September 1991 he married Güldeniz Özhan where they had an active social life with many friends, business engagements, international travel and were members of a traveling Gourmet International Wine Club. Jerry transitioned to become head of the Lockheed Martin Corporation International Business Development Office in Ankara where he served for 17 years. He retired in March 2017 at age 89. He was a brilliant and hard-working man who set an example for those around him. His contributions to Turkish – American defense industry partnership and the Turkish aerospace sector are exceptional, both in nature and quantity.
Jerry was a graduate of Texas Christian University where he earned a degree in Business Administration with a secondary degree in Industrial Engineering. He also graduated from the Stanford University Executive Training Program, was a member of the Organization of Certified Managers, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, was inducted into the Lockheed Martin Hall of Fame, given the American-Turkish Council Distinguished Career Award, the Lockheed Martin Presidential Aero Star Award and the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Turkish Government for contributions made to the growth of the defense industry in Turkey.
He lived a very full life and loved traveling the world. He thrived on competition and would make a game out of any opportunity and stood as the Head of The Commission for all questioned decisions – decisions which always went in his favor. He was known for cheating his grandchildren at cards, his love of Johnny Walker Black and Glenlivet, love of the Dallas Cowboys and a daily shared beer with Deniz. He wants everyone to know he is not THAT Jerry Jones. He was a proud husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and believed his life experience far exceeded expectations from a humble beginning.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Güldeniz Jones, children Vicki and David Pierce, Paul and Carolyn Jones, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Daniel Jones “Bleed Purple” Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Tarleton State University – a scholarship established to honor his grandson who predeceased him. Evergreen Giving | Scholarships & Endowments (tarleton.edu)
The family will receive visitors April 19th from 6:00 – 8:00 at the Mountain Valley Funeral Home in Joshua, Texas. Graveside service will be April 20th at Caddo Cemetery in Joshua, Texas at 11:00.