Virgil Leroy Jones, a beloved brother, uncle, cousin and friend to many, passed away Saturday, July 25, 2020, in the palliative care unit of Norman Regional Hospital. Born at home on the Flying V stock farm in Roger Mills County, near Leedey, to Wilbur Charless Jones and Mildred Christensen Jones on May 24, 1936, Virgil was a loving child from the start, helping his mother with his special needs sister, who was two years older. He was responsible at a very early age, helping his family, siblings – whoever needed a helping hand.
Virgil got his first paper route at age 12. He won a trip to the Oklahoma State Fair along with Dad and other area paper carriers for adding the most subscriptions. Virgil, a motivated, well rounded student, was a member of the yearbook committee, the Projectionist Club, as well as the Shattuck High School Driving Team which won the 1953 Oklahoma State Driving Championship as a sophomore in high school. He was especially proud of this achievement. Virgil was valedictorian of his class of 1954.
Virgil enjoyed Boy Scouts with the Great Salt Plains Council. In July of 1953, he attended the Third National Jamboree at Irvine Ranch, Santa Ana, California. Virgil wrote “Highlights of the 1953 Jamboree” which was published in the Shattuck newspaper, The Northwest Oklahoman.
The family moved to Norman, OK, in 1954. Virgil attended Oklahoma University with a major in chemical engineering. He was one of the 300 students selected as “outstanding freshman” in the 1954-55 class. Throughout much of early life, Virgil experienced headaches which intensified that freshman year. As fate would have it, Virgil’s plans for his future changed when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He remarkably not only survived brain surgery in 1955, but additional surgeries and radiation treatments with the last being in 1975. Virgil was given a very poor prognosis in 1955; however, he went on to live another 64 years.
He graduated from Oklahoma University with a BS in Business Administration in 1961. While in his undergraduate studies at OU, he worked at the Bizzell Memorial Library where he discovered his love of library science. He entered graduate studies and graduated from Oklahoma University with a Masters of Library Science in 1968.
He began a career as a medical research librarian at the Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. He received many commendations over the years for his service there from the medical doctors requesting research needed to provide care to their patients. Virgil would want to give special thanks to Dr. James Males, an endocrinologist, for whom Virgil did medical research but also became Virgil’s physician. Virgil credits Dr. Males for addressing the medical needs that were very beneficial to him.
Virgil retired in 1991 after 23 years. Virgil survived against all odds, and overcame each challenge with grace and optimism. His humble life was of helping family, friends and all he encountered. He is greatly loved and remembered by all.
Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbur C. Jones, Sr. and Mildred Christensen Jones; grandparents, L. Dow Jones and Maud Broadbent Jones, John G. Christensen and Pearl Gish Christensen; siblings, Marilyn Jones and Wilbur ‘Wil’ Jones, Jr.
He is survived by siblings, Margaret (Elton) Williams, John Calvin (Ofelia) Jones, Rosemary (Billy) Barker; many nieces and nephews, Christa (Ronnie) Hull, Shannon (Ted) Hayes, Wade Williams, Kendra Jones, Janna (Adrian) Davis, Michael Barker, Christopher Jones and Jennifer Jones Hogue; great nieces and nephews, Roanna Hull Eggert, Austin Jones, Samuel Hayes, Madeline Hayes, Maria Hayes, Bryasen Davis, Aaron Hull, Brenda Springer, Martha Rose Hayes, Isabella Williams, Anna Williams and Kylan Davis; great great nephews, Aaron Eggert, Gavin Eggert, Abram Jones and Ezra Jones.
Virgil was loving, giving and endearing to us all. A member of McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church since 1954, he loved all services, was always at Sunday school, and so enjoyed Bonus Years. The family requests any memorial contributions be made to McFarlin Memorial UMC Bonus Years.
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