WATERTOWN, NY — LaRue H. Jones, 92, passed away peacefully on April 20, 2019 at Samaritan Summit Village where he had been a resident for five years. He was surrounded by loved ones as he was reunited with his beloved wife, Mary, in heaven.
Born May 18, 1926, in Schenectady, NY, a son of Peter and Helen Jones, he graduated in 1943 from Cooperstown High School and Hartwick College in 1950.
He married Mary A. VanBuren on June 16, 1951, at St. Mary’s Church in Oneonta, NY.
LaRue served in the United States Navy from 1944 until 1946 on a mine sweeper in the Pacific Ocean earning the American Theatre Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal, and the Victory Medal.
For thirty-eight years, Mr. Jones worked in the insurance business as a claims investigator and claims supervisor, retiring in 1988 from Kemper Insurance Company.
LaRue was active in many community organizations including the First Presbyterian Church where he was a Deacon, Trustee, and Clerk of the Session. He also enjoyed singing in the church choir for many years, often as a soloist. He was a member of Watertown Rotary, American Legion Post 61, where he
served as Chairman of the Christmas Program, Watertown Golf Club, Islanders Barbershop Chorus, and Watertown Lyric Theater. In his retirement, LaRue volunteered at Samaritan Medical Center as a patient representative and at the information desk for over 26 years. He also volunteered for Meals on Wheels
with Mary for several years.
LaRue lived to make others laugh and smile. Known for his corny and sometimes bawdy sense of humor, he could light up a room with his jokes. His bright blue eyes sparkled when he made his grandchildren giggle no matter how many times they had heard the same silly story. While sometimes mortified at his jokes, Mary was often his coach and cheerleader in helping him bring joy to others. They were a great team who loved life and were deeply devoted to each other.
LaRue took such delight in having four great-granddaughters. What a blessing that he lived to know them all – Emilia Dumas, Brinley Barns, Eloise Barns, and Isabel Moran. Their new life brought him hope for the future.
LaRue is also survived by his three daughters, Cathryn (Kevin) Ruster, Elizabeth (Charles) Dumas, Sara (Mark) Moran; his eight grandchildren, Daniel (Bree) Barns, Robert (Kerstin) Barns, Charles Barns (Courtney Collins), Brandon Dumas, Benjamin (Camille) Dumas, Peter Dumas (Lacey McMillen), Sean (Danielle) Moran, Claire (Ryan) Zappia; sisters-in-law, Joyce Jones, Martha (Thomas) Pasek, Dolores VanBuren; brother-in-law, Robert (June) VanBuren, and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary, two brothers, Hugh and Duane Jones, and a sister, Carol Burnett.
LaRue’s family extends its sincere gratitude to the staff of Summit Village for not only caring for LaRue, but for loving him. All of you became an extension of his family showing him remarkable kindness, respect, and compassion in his final years.
A funeral service will be held 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 18, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church, 403 Washington St., Watertown. There will be no calling hours.
Arrangements are with D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church Radio
Fund, 403 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601 or Summit Village Activity Fund, 22691 Campus Dr., Watertown, NY 13601.
Condolences may be made to www.dlcalarco.com.