On Saturday, December 19, 2020, Ira Gerald Jones, Sr. went home to be with the Lord. He is preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Jones, his parents, Ira Glenn and Viola Bradley Jones, and a younger brother, Billy Ray Jones.
Gerald was a lifelong resident of the Barkers Creek Community and loved the mountains in which he was born and raised. He was a kind and humble man who enjoyed life to its fullest. Gerald was also a wonderful husband, father, brother, friend and Papaw. He leaves behind a son, Ira Gerald Jones, Jr. and wife Barbara; a daughter Lynne Middleton; sisters Jean Allison (Claude), Ann Stiles (Clifford), Norma McCormick (Simon), Dee Harkey, and Shirley Davis (Bob); four grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Gerald also leaves behind a great love for and a legacy of bear hunting and raising Plott hounds. He spent a great portion of his life back in the mountains hunting bears with his beloved Plotts. Along with his son Ira, they put much time into learning the Plott breed and how to breed a quality Plott hound. Gerald has travelled all over the country with his hounds in pursuit of a bear. He has been featured in multiple hunting magazines alongside the Plotts he has raised. He also shared his love and knowledge of the Plott hound and bear hunting as part of a recent podcast. In 2012, Gerald was awarded the prestigious American Plott Hound Association Methven Big Game Award for his outstanding contribution for big game hunting with Plott hounds.
Gerald really enjoyed and took great pride in raising his Plotts. The Plotts he raised were known for their breeding and being strong and healthy pups. In the later years as Gerald was unable to trek the steep mountains you could still hear him on the radio keeping up with the bear chase.
Gerald will truly be missed by his family and friends.
Services for Gerald will be held graveside on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at the Old Savannah Baptist Church Cemetery on Sutton Branch Road, Sylva, NC at 1:00 pm. Reverend Austin Frady, Reverend David Souderes, and Reverend Dwayne “Bear” Lambert will preside over the service.