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Bobby E. "Bob" Jones, 79
August 12, 1939 - March 24, 2019

Bobby E. " Bob" Jones, Sr., age 79, passed away peacefully March 24, 2019 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was born August 12, 1939 in Waycross, Georgia to James Riley and Helen (Carter) Jones.  He was the oldest son and second of five children.  At the age of ten, the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida.

After high school, Bob joined the U.S. Air Force and served ten years.  While stationed at Clinton-Sherman AFB in Burns Flat, Oklahoma, he met and married the love of his life, Barbara Crabb on December 15, 1959.  While living in Burns Flat, they were blessed with two children, Bobby E. Jones, Jr. and Gena (Jones) Forgety.  After leaving the military, the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida.

Shortly after arriving in Florida, Bob found a job and quickly became manager of the newest Sherwin-Williams in Jacksonville.  After two years in Florida, Bob requested a transfer back to Oklahoma and was given the choice of Tulsa or Seminole. Bob chose Seminole because he wanted to raise his children in a small town.  Two years later, the company was about to transfer him when he was approached by several business leaders who offered him the opportunity to manage the Seminole Chamber of Commerce.  The group included Roy Greason, C.M. Clark, H. Cecil Sullivan, Jr., Hulett Edgmon and Emery Magruder.  The gentlemen were very persistent and he was hired on December 1, 1969.

Bob served as manager of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Foundation from 1969 to 1977 and from 1980 to 1990.  For 21 years, he also served as the independent treasurer for the Seminole Public School System.  From 1977 to 1980, he was the liaison officer for the Ozarks Regional Commissions under Governors David Boren and George Nigh.  In 1987, he was named Executive of the Year by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.  He served on the Governor’s Industrial Team, chairman of the Oklahoma Certified Cities, the Central Oklahoma Chambers of Commerce and the Central Oklahoma Economic Development Association.  Bob is credited with being the driving force for economic development during the 1970s and 1980s.  He actively recruited major industries and obtained numerous grants for the city’s capital improvement projects.  He developed the H. Cecil Sullivan and Adwan Industrial Parks through grant programs and was founder of ECORD, a multi-county industrial and economic development lending program.  In 1990, he became the President of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, where he served until his retirement.  Bob was inducted into the Seminole Hall of fame in 1994.  After retirement, he remained active in Seminole by serving as a member of the Seminole Economic Development Council and the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum executive board.

Bob enjoyed fishing and playing golf.  He loved spending time with family and telling his colorful stories of the past to his grand children and great grand children.  He loved old-time gospel and country music and would often sing a verse or two for anyone who would listen. 

Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara Jones of the home; one son, Bobby Jones of Dallas, Texas; one daughter Gena Forgety and her husband David of Seminole, Oklahoma; one sister, Anne Sanborn and her husband Ray of Tampa, Florida; two brothers, Jimmie Jones and his wife Veronica of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Leonard Jones of Jacksonville, Florida; five grand children, Adam Forgety and his wife Khylee of Tacoma, Washington, Ryan Forgety of Oklahoma City, Kyle Forgety and his wife Emily of Ada, Oklahoma, Lauren Forgety of Oklahoma City, Christian Forgety of Oklahoma City; four great grandchildren, Dathan Forgety, Elijah Forgety, Myles Forgety, Amelia Forgety.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, James Riley and Helen Jones; one sister, Kay Fontana.

A Memorial Celebration is scheduled for 2:00 pm, Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at the First Baptist Church in Seminole, Oklahoma with Pastor Nick Atyia officiating.  Services are under the direction of Swearingen Funeral Home in Seminole, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum.

Funeral Information: March 27, 2019, 2:00 PM
First Baptist Church- 420 Reid St. Seminole,Ok. located at 420 Reid Street, Seminole, OK 74868

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