Cover photo for James "Jim" E. Jones's Obituary
James "Jim" E. Jones Profile Photo
1932 James 2023

James "Jim" E. Jones

November 11, 1932 — October 17, 2023

Morrison, CO

James (Jim) E. Jones sped off into his final quarter mile on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, in Denver, CO.

Jim was born November 11, 1932, in Palmyra, MI — at home! His mother died when he was five years old, and his grandmother, Mary Alice Webb-Jones, along with his uncle, Paul Jones, helped his father raise him.

He was the only child of Lena Agnes (Smith) Jones and Webb Allen Jones. A few days after graduating high school, he left the little town of Blissfield, MI, and joined the Navy in 1951. After basic training in Chicago, IL, he sailed off, ‘around the sound,’ on the U.S.S. Oriskany out of New York. He sailed to the Amalfi coast and toured Italy. Palermo, Sicily and Naples were some of his favorite places. Once, while docking in New York City, he and his sailor mates went to a nightclub and saw Louis Armstrong sing! He also saw the Rockettes on Broadway; he said that was such a treat.

After his tour of duty serving in the Korean War, he returned to Blissfield, MI, where he worked in a gas station, until he learned tool and die making, his occupation until he retired at age of 70.

He met his wife, Wanda Halterman, after serving in the Navy, while dancing in a club in Toledo. It was popular to go out dancing on the weekends; they favored many Polish, Hungarian and Italian clubs in Toledo, OH, Blissfield and Adrian, MI.

He married Wanda in 1956 and together they raised four children, Karen, Elaine, Tom and Mike.

In 1976, he moved his family to Denver, CO, after many vacations to the Wild West! The weather and scenery attracted them: blue skies; no humidity; and, no sinus infections!

After his wife died in 1983, he built his own ‘door car’ for drag racing in 1988; he named it, ‘Senior Citizen’s Express.’ He raced in ‘Super Gas’ competitions in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Wyoming. He was the oldest race car driver in his division, and once beat Sheldon Gecker, a two-time NHRA Super Gas World Champion; in addition, twice he was a runner-up in the Mile High Nationals! In his youth, he raced circle track in Michigan.

He made a lot of friends racing over the years and raced until he was 70 years old. We’re especially grateful for my dad’s dear racing friends, particularly Sam, Kelly and Kevin Moore, who inspired him to build a race car when they met him at Bandimere Speedway, known in the NHRA as ‘Thunder Mountain.’

He is survived by his children, Elaine, Tom and Mike; two grandsons; three granddaughters; eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wanda; and daughter, Karen.

If you’d like to make a donation in his honor, please consider The American Cancer Society, or National Jewish Health, Denver, CO, the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders.

So long, ‘Speed Racer’; we will miss you.

Painted on his race car:

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford




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