Jones came to UT in 1990 to assume the department head position and served in that role until 1997. He continued as a professor in the department until 2008 when he retired as professor emeritus. He had a prolific career which included teaching, research, and publishing in the areas of shyness, loneliness, and personal relationships. Prior to UT, he was a college professor at the University of Tulsa where he worked from 1978 until 1990, teaching and also serving as department chair and as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jones is survived by his wife of forty-nine years, Kathy Taylor Jones and their daughters Elizabeth Marie Jones and Lora Ann Lanning, a son-in-law and two grandsons.
There will be a memorial celebration of Jones’s life at his home in Glasgow at 2:00 p.m. on January 30. Friends, former students, and colleagues are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Arbor Day Foundation, National Public Television, or the Morris Dees Southern Poverty Law Center.