John Jones, who worked in IT for the SIU Foundation, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. The 37-year-old Jones was one semester away from earning his bachelor’s degree in information technology. He made straight A’s and was on the Dean’s List every semester. Jones had started his college career in 2002, but he left school after his father passed away. He returned to SIU more than 14 years later determined to get his degree.
Professor Brad Hagy had a special bond with his former student. When John entered his first class with professor Hagy he made an immediate impression.
“He sat in the front row,” said Hagy, a senior lecturer of Information Sciences and Technology at SIU. “He was a model student and was going to do anything to further his future.”
In Jones’ memory, Hagy donated $10,000 to establish the John Jones Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will benefit non-traditional students who are majoring in Information Technology (ITEC).
John said in an email to Professor Hagy, “The one thing that we all lose is time, and there is not a way to get that back. So, in my journey, I was fortunate enough to meet people at SIU that reminded me of myself as a young man fresh out of high school living carefree and people that are willing to help anyone who gives their time to learn. Mr. Hagy you have made this transition from working full-time to full-time student one of the best experiences I have ever had.”
Born and raised in Carbondale, Jones exceled in math and information technology. More than anything, John is remembered as a family man.
He is survived by his son, Jerald Cameron Jones; and fiancé, Tamara Buchannan-Boens; and her sons, Christopher Buchannan, Warren Eanes, and Dominique Boens. He is also survived by his mother, Debra Johnson-Jones; sister, Raven-Iman Jones; grandmother, Barbara Sanders; and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
John enjoyed participating in American Poolplayers Association competitions, riding his motorcycle with his fellow Eagle Riders, shooting targets at the gun range, and working on and building computer/robotics systems.
After his planned graduation, the SIU Foundation was set to make John a full-time member of the IT staff.
“We thought the world of John,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “He was liked by all. His words and his actions were always consistent. Everyone at the Foundation was deeply saddened by his untimely passing. Professor Hagy’s inspiring gift is a testament to their connection and the impact they had on one another.”
Professor Hagy is encouraging others to give to the John Jones Memorial Scholarship so that the scholarship becomes endowed and leaves a lasting legacy in his name.