By Rebecca Goodman
Enquirer staff writer
HARRISON - Thomas Dale Jones, a retired Cincinnati firefighter and owner of All Seasons Tool Rental in Delhi Township and Loveland, died Sunday of heart failure at Jewish Hospital. The Harrison resident was 60.
Mr. Jones was of Cherokee descent. He was born at Good Samaritan Hospital to Robert Lafayette Jones and Wiynema Lohoma Hill on Jan. 31, 1944. His great-great-grandmother on his mother's side survived the Cherokee removal to Indian Territory in 1838 known as the Trail of Tears, according to his wife, Deanna Stutzman Jones.
"He was proud of his heritage," she said. "He didn't make a big deal out of it, but he was proud."
Mr. Jones grew up in Cleves and graduated from Taylor High School in 1961. After graduation, he joined the Navy and served on the USS Nitro in the Mediterranean. When he returned home, he was an Ohio highway patrolman for a year before transferring to the Cincinnati Police Department.
Three years later, he decided to become a firefighter. He was one of the earliest to receive a degree in fire science from the University of Cincinnati, his wife said. Mr. Jones started out at a fire station downtown and retired as a lieutenant at the firehouse in Sayler Park 28 years later.
He owned the former Delhi Tool Rental at Neeb and Rapid Run roads for the past 25 years. Six years ago, he opened a second location and named both stores All Seasons Tool Rental.
Mr. Jones was a member of the Greater Cincinnati Tool Rental Association and the Blue Lodge Masonic Club. He has served as an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Harrison.
About a month ago, Mr. Jones fell sick with flu-like symptoms. Doctors diagnosed a staff infection that had damaged his heart valve. He underwent a 10-hour valve replacement surgery. He later developed additional symptoms and had to endure a second surgery to repair a hole between the heart chambers. Doctors performed a third 10-hour surgery Friday to repair the valve, which malfunctioned. Mr. Jones' heart failed Sunday.
"He was a hands-on man," his wife said. "If he saw something that had to be done, he'd get in there with you and do it. He didn't mind getting his hands dirty. He was a man's man. One of his greatest joys was to go out on a boat and go deep-sea fishing."
But most of all, he was "just a good, caring father, a good grandfather and a good friend to many."
In addition to his wife of 36 years, survivors include a son, Mark T. Jones of Westwood; a daughter, Jennifer Jones of Harrison; two brothers, James Jones of Colerain Township and Jerry Jones of Cleves; a sister, Kathy Schreiber, also of Cleves; and two grandsons.
Visitation is 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at the John C. Brater Funeral Home, 201 S. Vine St., Harrison. The funeral is 10 a.m. Thursdayat First Presbyterian Church, 115 S. Vine St., Harrison. Burial will be at Maple Grove Cemetery in Cleves.
Memorials: Cincinnati Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 2011 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45208 or First Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 115 S. Vine St., Harrison, OH 45030.
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