Retired Probate Judge Jerome Jones, age 79, died on August 23, 2008. He was born May 27, 1929 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma of the marriage of Algernon Sydney Jones and Florence Marie Jones. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in the then Territory of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, following which he attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1951. He graduated from the George Washington University Law School in 1955.
Judge Jerome Jones
Crowder Funeral Home
He was admitted to practice law in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Courts of Washington D.C and the Federal and State Courts of Texas. In 1957 he was appointed Assistant Criminal District Attorney for Galveston County following which he was elected State Representative for Galveston County. While in the Texas Legislature, Judge Jones passed the legislation creating the Texas Maritime Academy which evolved into Texas A&M University at Galveston. Following his service in the legislature, he practiced law with the firm of Furhop and Jones.
In 1968, he was appointed Judge of the Probate Court of Galveston County by Governor John B. Connally. After his initial election, he remained without opposition for thirty years, retiring in 1998.
As Probate Judge, he presided over the case of State vs. Addington where he ruled that there must be “clear and convincing” evidence to involuntarily commit a person to a mental hospital. His decision was reversed by the Texas Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court. However the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his decision which established the “Clear and Convincing Evidence” rule throughout the U.S.
Judge Jones was a founder of the Texas College of Probate Judges established in 1979, and remained a member of the Board of Trustees until his death. He was appointed Adjunct Professor of Medical and Psychiatric Jurisprudence by the Regents of the University of Texas is 1975 and served until 1998 when he retired. The U.S. Department of State appointed him to be a Fulbright Scholar and in that capacity he lectured in Japan, South Korea, and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Humanities he lectured at Stanford University, the University of Virginia and the University of California Medical School at San Francisco. Judge Jones was selected as a member of a 40 Judge delegation to attend Oxford University. The delegation was chaired by U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
Judge Jones was diagnosed with throat and lung cancer in 1998 and was treated successfully at U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center. He and his beloved companion, Susan Bandik Ervin traveled throughout Eastern and Western Europe over the next 10 years, including Spain, Croatia, Russia, Estonia and Finland. He called these his “bonus years”. In May 2008 he was diagnosed with incurable cancer and died August 23, 2008.
Judge Jones was survived by his two sons, George J. “Jerry” Jones, Jr. of League City, Texas and Robert C. “Chris” Jones and wife Lisa and Chevy Chase, Maryland; four grandchildren Brooke, Alison, Alexandra and Katherine Jones. He was one of eight children and was survived by one brother, Senior District Judge Robert D. Jones of Austin, TX and two sisters Margaret Ellen Schumaker of Sacramento, CA and Grace Lahoma Oliphant of Kingsland, Texas and numerous nieces and nephews.
Judge Jones left instructions that he was to be cremated and that no public services be held. He wanted to thank the citizens of Galveston County for allowing him to serve as an elected public official for over thirty-five years. A special thanks to the Judges and lawyers who assisted him during these years. Arrangements will be handled by Crowder Funeral Home at Dickinson, TX.