Wally Jones Passing On

Nothing can prepare one to loss of a parent. I learned my father died late on Thursday night and have been dealing with the grief and moving on since then. My father, Wally Pierce Jones, was one of my biggest fans and influenced me greatly to be the wandering nomad that I have become. His death will undoubtedly also alter the course of my life and shape me in ways I don’t yet know.

Eugene has lost one of its most notable Elders. Wally Jones died at home and was found on May 5 in his bed, appearing to have died peacefully after some recent history of heart trouble.

He was born in Grants Pass to Ellis and Barbara Jones on December 7, 1945. He spent most of his life in Eugene, graduating from Sheldon High School in 1963. He attended the U of O for two years. Wally was one of the first members of the Hoedads Treeplanting Cooperative, and worked with them till its end in 1994. He served as its president in the 80’s and in Hoedads’ final years.

Wally had a passion for skiing and sailing. He spent a lot of time at Mt. Bachelor and other ski areas, often earning his way teaching others to ski. He owned a sailboat, a Lightning, and when he wasn’t painstakingly working on it, he sailed it on Fern Ridge for years, where he was a member of the Eugene Yacht Club. He also was a skilled guitarist and strong singer, and had an unusual ability to remember words of myriad songs. He was a consummate story teller and a master of jokes.

He was involved with the Oregon Country Fair from its early days, and was a charter member, serving on various crews before settling on the Recycling Crew in 1986, which he stayed on till he became semi-retired as an Elder. He also got involved on the Path Planning Committee and was found tromping around at the fair site early on in the season and brainstorming on possibilities.

Wally is survived by two twin daughters, Darcy and Miel, who have spent a lot of time in Security. Darcy Cronin and her kids spent last Country Fair with Wally. Miel Hendrickson will be at this year’s fair, which she had hoped to spend with her father as his SOP. He was partnered for many years with Karen Stingle, who continued to be his friend, neighbor, family, and “best

Above all, Wally was a people person. He was our historian, having participated in so much of our community’s growth. He had an uncanny memory for events, people, places, and the dynamics underpinning it all. We relied on him to keep the stories straight.

Friends and family: Wally’s Wake tonight @ Sam Bond’s 6 p.m.

Come celebrate his life, share stories, and reunite at his favorite watering hole.


  1. Anonymous on May 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Miel,
    I’m here to listen whenver you need me. I too, know the loss of a father, and so hope to help you through this.
    Love, Sky

  2. 'Drea on May 10, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Your father sounds like a wonderful person and great father.

    My condolences…

  3. Anonymous on May 10, 2011 at 4:10 am

    love ya wally…
    joe, leah and the girls…

  4. slowlaser on May 10, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Thank you. The wake was terrific. Wally had a lot of friends and they all had stories. I will miss him. – Rich Aaring

  5. Lynn on May 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Dear Miel (and Darcy), Your dad was a wonderful guy. It was sweet to see how intensely proud he was of you both and how much he loved you. We’ll miss him. All my best, Lynn Klingensmith

  6. carsick on May 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I was surfing around and stumbled onto your blog.
    I am so sorry for your loss.

  7. Ms. Miel on May 11, 2011 at 2:32 am

    carsick – Thanks for your comment. Even those from a stranger feel good and brings humanity that much closer. Please follow along with the adventure.

    All the best,


  8. risa on May 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

    One of the good ones.

  9. Anonymous on May 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Miel – I so enjoyed reading your post re: Wally. I had the pleasure of spending time with him as an “adult” only once when visiting Barbara and Carol. Both were “shocked” when Wally invited me out for a drink – something they claimed was rare. We had a good visit catching up on many years of family history. Would have loved to have attended his wake. My thoughts are with you and Darcy. Love, Sara Green

  10. Colleen on May 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Wally and I carpooled to Path Planning meetings. I enjoyed visiting with him on the ride back and forth, and each Saturday at my booth. He talked about you, and your sister, and his grandchildren. He was very proud of all of you. I miss him. A lot.

  11. Colleen on May 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Wally and I carpooled to Path Planning meetings. I enjoyed visiting with him on the ride back and forth, and each Saturday at my booth. He talked about you, and your sister, and his grandchildren. He was very proud of all of you. I miss him. A lot.

  12. Val on May 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    For both Miel and Darcy, and all of Wallys extended family, it was an honor to meet him and to know his children. thankyou for sharing his story,

  13. Anonymous on May 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    My Dear Friend,

    My heart grieves for you and your sis with the loss of your Dad. I pray that you are able to continue to celebrate his life as I know he lived a very vibrant one! My family and I send our condolences. Please let me know if there is anything at all we can do. Love – Sequoia

  14. becky on May 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    wally was a truly rad dude!!! he will be missed.

  15. Susan on June 8, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Someone just asked me whether I’d ever tried mushrooms and I had faint memory from1981 in which Wally’s name came up… I had to google him. What a special person.

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