Robert A Jones, a long time, valued and faithful member of the Saint David’s Society of Utica passed away just three days after his 99th birthday. Bob was very proud of his Welsh heritage and was an asset to the Society in so many ways! His ready smile, sense of humor, sharing of memories, and his dedication to all things Welsh endeared him to so many!
Bob was a past President of the St David’s Society of Utica and, for a brief time, also served on the Board of Trustees of the National Society. He believed it was important to preserve Welsh history and heritage and helped do that for many years as our local society’s Historian. Bob also devoted years to the restoration of the old Welsh Church in Remsen, NY. He conducted many a Gymanfa Ganu (Welsh hymn festival) throughout Central New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
The Welsh are known for their wonderful singing voices and Bob was no exception. He had a beautiful tenor voice that he shared on many occasions, singing as a soloist at weddings, in local productions and was a member of the choir at New Hartford Presbyterian Church for 60 years. When he wasn’t conducting at a Gymanfa Ganu you could hear his wonderful voice coming from the congregation leading the tenor part.
Bob’s love of music led him to form our local St David’s Welsh Choir, Cor Dewi Sant, which he directed for many years with his wife, Jeanne, by his side accompanying the choir on the piano. When the choir sang in Welsh Bob was the one to teach those not fluent in Welsh (almost everyone!) how to pronounce the words.
Bob and Jeanne made a good team, both in music and in life, celebrating their 76th wedding anniversary in 2021. They were high school sweethearts and married in 1945. His family quoted him as saying “Best $2 investment I ever made”. Jeanne predeceased him in 2022.
Bob worked tirelessly to preserve Welsh traditions in our area, and beyond. He was an integral part of our St David’s Society of Utica, its Board, and the Welsh community. He can never be replaced and will forever be missed.
Gorffyws mewn heddwch, Bob. (Rest in Peace)