Cover photo for Rollo Jones's Obituary
1930 Rollo 2022

Rollo Jones

March 20, 1930 — February 19, 2022

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Rollo Sheldon Jones was born at home in Provo, Utah on March 20, 1930, the tenth of eleven children born to Hyrum Rollo Jones and Preal Frances Michie. His father tragically died when he was only three years old, leaving his mother to raise their children on her own. He remained very close to his mom throughout her life, displaying his love on many occasions by bringing her a few truckloads of manure for her large garden to celebrate Mother's Day.

Rollo graduated from Lincoln High School in Orem in 1948. He briefly played football with LaVell Edwards before he was accidentally shot in the thigh, spending many weeks recovering in the hospital. He was very active in the Boy Scouts of America as a youth and as an adult. He received the original Ranger Scout award in 1948. As an adult he served as BSA District Commissioner in Fremont, California. He was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints throughout his life. He served an honorable mission in the Western States Mission from 1950 to 1952. He was ordained a High Priest by Spencer W. Kimball and held many callings over the years from bishopric member to veil worker in the Provo Utah Temple. He humbly fulfilled them all.

Rollo married Cherril Palmer, the freckle-faced girl from Thatcher, in the Mesa Arizona Temple on March 10, 1954. Over the years, they welcomed five children, four daughters and one son, and lovingly raised them well.

In 1961, Rollo moved his young family to Fremont, California to assist his ailing father-in-law, Freeman Palmer, in running a BYU farm property. After Freeman died, Rollo was hired and worked on the farm for twelve years. During that time, he single-handedly tore out approximately 100 acres of cherry and apricot trees and converted the land to commercially growing tomatoes. Not long after moving to Fremont, Rollo and Cherril bought their first home on Bora Bora Avenue for $20,000 with 10% of the cost going to the building fund for the Irvington LDS chapel. Then he volunteered with many others in actually constructing that chapel which was dedicated in 1966.

In 1973, Brigham Young University transferred him to Utah to be the Assistant Director of their Agricultural Station located in Spanish Fork. He managed nearly 10,000 acres of ranch, orchards, and farm land and more than 1,500 head of livestock. Many students thrived under his tutelage and have carried Rollo's mentoring into their successful careers. The dairy supplied the milk products for Provo's MTC, BYU's "CougarEat", and "The Creamery'' where innumerable gallons of ice cream were made. During his tenure, he doubled the Ag Station's milk production, making BYU the top milk producer in the State of Utah and one of the top milk-producing universities in the nation averaging about 25,000 pounds of milk per year per cow. He supervised the complete computerization of the station's milk monitoring system and encouraged the development and application of a successful and extensive embryo collection and transfer program at the dairy. The coveted embryos were sold around the world, improving the quality of numerous in America and international herds.

Rollo introduced a significant upgrade to the silage storage system used at the time. He investigated and put into practice a bagging system for BYU in conjunction with the Ag-Bag International Corporation. He innovated a significant upgrade to the system and the improvement proved so successful the Ag-Bag Company adopted the changes and gave the University a new bagger worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rollo earned the respect of fellow BYU workers, researchers, teachers, and students, as well as the Ag-Bag Corporation. He was hired to travel across the Northern hemisphere from Canada to Mexico to promote the forage bagging system. The presentation he gave, in conjunction with university researchers and professors, resulted in much acclaim and recognition.

After his retirement in 1992, Rollo found more time for hobbies and activities he had always enjoyed. In 2001, Rollo and Cherril found their dream home in Palmyra, Utah. A 6 1/2 acre farm with plenty of room for grandkids, dogs, and mules. They had long loved camping and camped together for weeks at a time until her illness in 2011. He lovingly and tirelessly cared for her night and day for many, many months and brought her home, against medical advice, from her final ICU stay to allow her to pass away in their cherished home surrounded by her family. Cherril passed away in 2012.

In 2014, Rollo reconnected with an old acquaintance he had met on his mission 60 years prior. He and Marjorie Burnett Hess were married that year on August 3rd. They enjoyed seven and a half years together before her death in February of 2021.

Rollo was a jack of all trades and the master of many. During his lifetime he worked as a lumberjack cutting timber, worked on a sheep ranch in Wyoming, apprenticed to be a plumber, worked as an orchardman, farmer and dairyman, sold security alarms, toured North America speaking at agricultural conferences, enjoyed woodworking and carpentry, was a skilled hunter, a knowledgeable horse and mule owner, and always grew a large and enviable vegetable garden that, at one time, included ancient Anasazi beans.

Rollo passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, February 19, 2022, just one month short of his 92nd birthday. He is survived by his brother, Don Jones, of St. George, UT; his five children: Shelley Hawker (Paul) of Spanish Fork, UT; Teresa Minor (Mikel) also of Spanish Fork; Melanie Patten (Lonnie) of Salem, UT; Christi Bufton (Shaun) of Payson, UT; and Michael Jones (Marnie) of Highland, UT. He is also proudly survived by 22 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren with one on the way, not to mention all the nieces and nephews that considered him the favorite uncle.

A viewing will be held Sunday evening, February 27th from 6-7:30pm at the Palmyra Church, 1866 West 5000 South, Palmyra Utah. Another viewing will begin the next morning, Monday, February 28th at 9am followed by funeral services at 11 o'clock. Interment will be at the Provo City Cemetery.

To view the service remotely, visit Legacy Funerals & Cremations Facebook page.

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