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FMPC’s Jones dies at 71
Town, friends mourn commissioner’s loss


Farragut town officials and community members are mourning the loss of former Alderman and current Farragut Municipal Planning Commission member Fred Jones, who died Monday, Sept. 18.

Jones, 71, served Farragut as an Alderman from April 1983 until April 1995. In 1995, he was appointed to the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and remained on the Commission until his death.

“Farragut will never be the same,” said Robert “Bob” Hill, long-time friend to Jones. “I knew him for about thirty years. Fred was an exceptionally good friend and it affects me a great deal. Fred was a guy interested in doing the best job he could. He did that for the town. He did that for his working career. He and I shared a great common interest in that we both like to work on mechanical things.”

Hill said Jones was a craftsman who could do anything that anyone asked of him.

“He loved tools,” Hill said. “He helped me a lot in woodworking.”

He said Jones helped him design architectural plans for an addition to [Hill’s] home.

Hill, who serves as FMPC chairman, said Jones’ decisions and judgments were always sound.

“I’m just devastated by this,” said former Farragut Mayor Robert “Bob” Leonard, who knew Jones for more than 30 years. “He was just in my office on Friday and then Monday he was gone.”

Leonard described Jones as a good man, “a wonderful friend who loved people and Farragut.

“He was true blue and a yard wide,” he said. “Fred was a person who got to the heart of the matter while on M-P-C and always voted what he thought was best for the town.”

Farragut Vice Mayor Mike Haynes said he had a lot of respect for Jones.

“Fred was a fun guy,” Haynes said with a chuckle. “He would always call me when he didn’t think I was doing right on an issue and I really respected him for it. I always kidded him that I was just keeping his seat warm for him. If he had said he wanted to be on the board again, I would have thought long and hard about stepping down for him.

“I think the thing about Fred that always struck me was when he served on our development review evaluation committee last summer. I looked to Fred many times for advice. He was excellent in being able to see both sides of an issue.”

Haynes said Jones was one of the original shapers of the town and a person who helped it to become what it is today.

“Every time you lose a member of the founding group of the town, I don’t think you ever quite recover,” he said. “I think he made a huge contribution to the town. I think his lasting impact is all the work he did on the M-P-C. The M-P-C has been the governing entity for all the growth in Farragut and Fred was a strong voice on it. His strength was to forge doable, practical compromises.”

Developer R. Knick Myers said he knew Jones as a developer, FMPC member and as a patron of Ace Hardware, a store Knick and his brother, Noah, used to own.

“I think this is just devastating news,” Myers said. “He was a customer of ours. What an asset he has been to the town of Farragut and a good man. He was always fair as a businessman. We’ve lost a pro-business advocate. He wanted to see the town grow, but maintain its beauty as well.”

Myers said he remembers Jones as a handy guy, always working on projects. He said he and Jones sometimes spent evenings chatting about

politics.

Farragut Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III said Jones would be greatly missed in the community.

“Fred has been an integral part of this community,” Ford said. “I’ve known him for about thirty years. Fred has always been a strong supporter of the town of Farragut.”

Ford described Jones as both his friend and a friend to the community.

“When I was interested in buying a sports car, he had a Mercedes S-L convertible,” Ford said. “He said ‘Eddy, I’m going on a trip to Europe. Why don’t you take my S-L and see if you enjoy it before you buy one.’”

Ford said while on the FMPC, Jones looked for the compromise that met the interest of the business applicant as well as meeting the needs of the town of Farragut.

“He was a very practical fellow,” Ford said. “He was named a corporate fellow at his work with Lockheed-Martin. There are very few of those type people in that type organization.”

Alderman Dorothy “Dot” LaMarche said the news of Jones’ death was a loss for the town.

“I’m sad about Fred,” she said. “He was a nice guy.”

Alderman Joel Garber served with Jones at Y-12 and on the FMPC.

“Fred will really be missed,” he said. “His contributions have been remarkable. He’ll be sorely missed. I always had a great respect for Fred and he was well-known in the nuclear technology field.”

 

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