Journalist David L. Jones of the Tulsa Tribune Family will be Missed, Remembered


David Lloyd Jones, a member of the iconic Tulsa Tribune family, died Monday, May 14, at St. Francis Hospital following complications from leukemia. He was 79.
David was the son of longtime Tribune editor and publisher Jenkin Lloyd Jones and Juanita Carlson Lloyd Jones.

David grew up in the “family business” of the Tulsa Tribune, the former Tulsa evening newspaper, after a stint in the Army, serving variously as a Washington D.C. correspondent, arts critic and general reporter before beginning a decades-long career as “The Rambler” one of the Tribune’s most popular columns, a feature started by his father more than half a century earlier.

David was an avid sports enthusiast, a lover of the classics—be they written, heard, viewed or danced—and a great comrade to struggling kids via Little League, Big Brothers and Sisters, and as a mentor to fledgling readers at Celia Clinton Elementary School.

After serving as president of Theater Tulsa, he exchanged his gavel for a script and took great pride in treading the boards as an amateur actor.  Never an outstanding sportsman, he loved finding the talent in others and for many years served as a Little League coach, often keeping up connections through his players’ adulthoods.

He was an expert on movie history, very knowledgeable about classical music and books (he once owed The Happy Griffin bookstore) and a theater buff who performed in local plays. 

A fervent Sherlock Holmes fan, he also loved most sports, especially University of Tulsa football and any team that had “Washington” on its uniforms. During his seven years of covering the U.S. Capitol and environs he happily coached the baseball Little League Reston (Va.) Cobras. Politics fascinated him and triggered many a conversation about those seeking or holding public office.

He went to Tulsa Public Schools through his sophomore year, then graduated from The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. Dave earned a bachelor’s degree from Denison University in Ohio before serving in the U.S. Army in Ethiopia.

Although he could handle “hard” news well, his special talent was in lighthearted columns and movie or theater reviews. Friends upon hearing of his death messaged about his kindness, humor and generosity. He was a special and sweet person in the best meaning of those words.

Several years after the Tulsa Tribune ceased publishing, David began writing and editing for Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers. A born raconteur, he loved sharing stories and opinions—talents that he shared with readers.

Those who knew David often cited the same three attributes, a vast reservoir of puns and humor, an astonishing command of the English language, and an innate, radiant kindness.  We at Newspapers miss him.

David is survived by his wife Martha, children Alicia (Lisa), Melissa (Mimi) and Matthew; his sister, former Tribune columnist Georgia Snoke, and her husband Ken; his brother, former Tribune editor Jenkin Lloyd Jones Jr., and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

In a time of much squabbling and intolerance in our national life, David would offer a smile, a pleasant word, even a laugh. Those are precious gifts to bequest.

Updated 06-02-2018

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