Farewell to a special friend
It was a real pleasure to know Tom Jones whether it was through his dedication to community service in the Westminster Rotary Club, or his civic minded approach as President of Citizens Bank in Westminster or sharing political views over some enchiladas and tacos.
Tom was one of the few men I have known over the years who I would call “a true gentleman.” He was kind and considerate to everyone regardless of their station in life.
He went out of his way to help you regardless of the task. He was truly a delight to be around and never spoke a harsh word about anyone. But now we must say good-bye as Tom passed on May 3.
I had the sincere pleasure of working with Tom both through the Rotary Club as well as through the City of Westminster when he managed Citizens Bank on 72nd Avenue.
Those relationships covered more than 30 years including the years we both have been retired.
He came to Colorado in 1969 where he started his career in the banking business. Tom served as President of the bank until 1999 when the bank was sold to Zion Bank and he retired.
Subsequent to his retirement, he remained active in Rotary, which was very special to him. He always looked forward to each Thursday for the club meeting to kibitz with fellow club members, tell a few jokes, talk politics and ask how others were doing. Tom always kept us laughing with his quick jokes and memorable stories.
Few people knew the important role he played in making the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster a reality. Financing such a venture without any track record and limited capital by the principals involved in the concept made it a tough thing to sell. But Tom knew the City of Westminster wanted to see the Pavilion become a reality adjacent to The Promenade.
Citizens Bank was one of three local banks that made the original loan with the help of the city. In most bankers’ minds, it would have been an easy to say, “Sorry, but you don’t meet our lending criteria.”
But that was not the way Tom Jones was; he was always thinking of the other person.
His service to the community was exemplary. It included many years on the Adams 50 Community Education Foundation, Adams County Housing Authority, the Salvation Army Board of Directors and various capacities with the Westminster Rotary Club. After retiring from the club, he was made an honorary member.
I wish we could duplicate Tom Jones, but he was a “one of a kind type of guy.” He loved his wife Lucille and family, his job and his country. He was proud to have served in the U.S. Navy. He joined the Navy after high school in 1955 and reached Yeoman Second Class.
And he was a friend to so many people. Tom, we miss your great story telling, jokes and community service, but most of all we miss your genuine friendship.
Bill Christopher is former city manager of Westminster and used to represent District J on the RTD board of directors.