22 October 2018
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Andrew Barbano / NevadaLabor.com
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Nevada official and labor legend Stan Jones dies at 95
RENO, NV (U-NEWS)
Former Nevada labor commissioner and organized labor hall of famer
Stan Jones died at his Reno home on Oct. 10 from injuries sustained
in a fall at the Reno Airport last July 18. He was 95. At his request,
there will be no memorial service. His ashes were spread in the mountains
of northern Washoe County where he hunted and fished for most of his life.
Stanley Phillip Jones was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Reno on
Sept. 30, 1923. He attended Reno primary schools and was a veteran of
World War II. He served in France and Germany in the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers' 372nd Engineer Regiment which built "instant" bridges
across rivers, among other things.
He put that experience to good use, joining Reno Sheet Metal Workers
Local 26 on May 31, 1946, and graduating from the union's apprenticeship
program in 1948. He attended the University of Nevada-Reno and the University
of San Francisco.
He was elected as Local 26 business representative in 1949 and to the
same position with the Building & Construction Trades Council of
Northern Nevada (BCTCNN) in 1950.
In 1953, he met Wendy Helvey
who had moved to Reno from Omaha, Nebraska, the previous year and was
employed by IBEW Local 401. They were married three years later.
Wendy Jones retired in 2002 after 50 years with the union. They
were both inducted to the César Chávez NevadaLabor.com Hall
of Fame on March 31, 2011, Nevada's César Chávez Day.
Stan Jones served with the Northern Nevada BCTCNN until 1965 when he became
a field representative with the National Electrical Contractors Association.
In 1967, Nevada Gov. Paul Laxalt appointed him as state labor commissioner,
a post he held until 1979. During his tenure, he became the first Nevada
labor commissioner elected president of the International Association
of Governmental Labor Officials, representing the United States and
its territories. In 1983, Gov. Richard Bryan appointed him executive
director of the Nevada Employment Security Dept. He served three
terms on the executive board of the Interstate Conference of Employment
Security Agencies. Overall, he worked under five governors of both
major political parties in his 33 years of public service while maintaining
his status as a dues-paying member of his union.
In 2006, the Southern Nevada Regional Headquarters of the Nevada
Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) was
dedicated "in honor of Mr. Jones' long-standing commitment to Nevada's
workforce," the department noted upon news of his death.
"Mr. Jones is synonymous with our agency and his service is well
known within the DETR family," stated DETR Director Don Soderberg.
"We feel honored to have known and worked alongside him throughout
his enduring career and are all saddened to hear of his passing,"
"The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made
to the Arnold-Jones-Evans Scholarship Fund established by the Nevada
State AFL-CIO honoring Jim Arnold (Culinary Local 226), Stan
Jones and Blackie Evans (Steelworkers Local 4856), three icons
of Nevada organized labor," DETR noted.
Checks may be sent payable to the Nevada State AFL-CIO, 1891 Whitney Mesa
Drive, Henderson NV 89014. They should be made out with a notation designating
the Arnold-Jones-Evans Scholarship Fund.
"Stan Jones was a warrior for working families his entire life,"
stated former Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Danny
Thompson, who succeeded Claude S. "Blackie" Evans
in that position.
"Stan Jones spent a lifetime in service of others. He sent me a birthday
card every year, including this year," Thompson added.
THE LAST HURRAH: Nevada
State AFL-CIO convention, Reno Grand Sierra Resort, Aug. 22, 2007
Former Nevada State Labor Commissioner Stan Jones, left,
presented the Nevada State AFL-CIO with a copy of a biography of
legendary labor leader Joe Hill of the Industrial Workers
of the World (the IWW, better known as the Wobblies). The book included
many of the labor songs Hill composed. Claude
S. "Blackie" Evans holds the book at center. Evans'
successor as Nevada State AFL-CIO executive secretary-treasurer,
Danny Thompson, stands at right.
The book had been presented to Jones in
1981 by the late Leola Armstrong, secretary of the Nevada
"I think you won that one," Armstrong
told Jones after his impassioned speech against a bill by Sen. Cliff
McCorkle, R-Reno, which would have eliminated Nevada's prevailing
wage law. (The bill failed.) Evans led 250 union workers into the
hearing room to oppose the proposal. That kind of activism was absent
in the movement before Evans rose to the top job and continues today.
Jones was not necessarily retired in retirement. His last high profile
advocacy for workers came as recently as December, 2015, when he co-authored
Reno Gazette-Journal guest editorial criticizing Sparks city government
for removing certification requirements for journeyman plumbers and electricians.
"As the former state commissioner of labor, I have seen the damage
that can be done by unqualified, unlicensed construction workers,"
he advised Sparks City Hall.
This was not a new issue to Stan Jones.
"Training is necessary and essential. Let no one say it costs too
much," he wrote in the November
1977 edition of the Northern Nevada Labor News.
"No legitimate organization ever got started on the road to permanent
success by any other means than that of hard, intelligent work coupled
with desire," he advised.
Stan Jones is survived by his wife, Wendy,
sons John (Denice) of Wasilla, Alaska; Stanley Michael (Coreen)
of Sparks, Nevada; four grandchildren, two great-grandsons and three nieces.
Remembrances may be sent via U.S. Postal Service to Andrew Barbano, P.O.
Box 10034, Reno NV 89510 or e-mailed via <email@example.com>
They will be posted at the new NevadaLabor.com
permanent Stan Jones Archive.
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