Family Memories

Davis is alive in the hearts and minds of his family 

Sister Bonnie:
"I will always miss the sweetness and gentleness that Davis embodied. I will be forever grateful to Rich for being able to come to us to let us know that Davis was loved and respected by his comrades.
But, I will never get over the fact that Davis never even got to vote for the politicians that sent him to Vietnam to be killed."

- Bonnie Jones [December 4, 2001]

This photograph is of the Jones family around 1962.

Sister Sue:
"Davis, we hardly knew you.
Memories of the funeral:
At the cemetery we had the service in the mausoleum. I remember Russ Sword breaking down when he was presenting the flag to Mom, and Mom saying 'Go on, Russ.'
Still missed after all these years.
I want to thank again Richard Pierce and Doc Hanmore for coming forward. Hoping to hear from others."

-Susanne Jones Rollins [January 14, 2002]

Davis was proud of his decorations.
There are more, but these are the ones that he received in life.

Sister Angela:
"I remember first becoming aware of what 'twins' were. I asked 'How do you feed two babies at one time?' and was told you put one baby on each side of you on the bed, and hold the bottles at the same time and feed the babies--I was amazed. That's when I became aware I was special because I had twin brothers. As I got older I became aware of what a pain that could be, too!
I remember a time at our Grandfather's house. Grandaddy had a bull and ditches that we called gullies. We were always told 'Don't tease the bull, and stay out of the gullies!' Of course (being younger and smaller) David was the adventurer and Davis (being the peacemaker) always saved my hide. No one would know so we went into the gully. The bigger boys climbed out, but I couldn't make it. David was hollering 'I'm gonna tell!' while Davis was helping me out. Remember that big brother? I sure do! Remember teasing the bull? I couldn't run as fast as you all. Davis or Tim yanked me out of the way just in time! I was scared to death, and that's when I thought I'm not so lucky to have big brothers, twins or not, except Davis.
I remember becoming aware that they looked alike, but were two different people. David was funny and would get me in trouble. Davis was quiet and would save my rear end. He was also clumsier-like the time they were cutting wood. David had the ax and Davis was holding the wood. David missed the wood and got Davis' toe! Also the memory of playing in the house running and swinging. Davis jumped on the couch and put his arm through the window in the front door!
I remember a time in high school, myself a freshman, and they were seniors. We were changing classes, and I came up on Davis. He was fixing to go into David's next class, and David was going into Davis' class for that period! I looked at Davis and he put his finger to his mouth-like be quiet! After school, I asked what they were doing? He said we like different classes and do better in those classes, so we switched! The teachers never knew!
I remember David being home on 30-day leave. It was Sunday and David wore his dress blues to church. Mom and all 8 of us kids in the station wagon left church to go to the bus station to pick up Davis! David went into get him. People were turning around-we turned around and all of us, Mom included, did a double take because at that moment I could not tell you who was who. Watching two Marines dressed in military dress blues, our twin brothers, identical-it was unbelievable-two together!
I know these memories of mine are about my life of Davis, but for me I can't separate the twins. That was just the way it was for me, as far back as I can remember. The twins our birth mother gave me were my twin brothers together. Then our adopted mother gave me, as teenagers and young adults, the twin brothers together. The time we all had to separate the twins was unbelievably hard and painful, even now. I am glad to know that some special men were his friends and made the last 10 months of his life bearable. I thank you for sharing that with us. Now you know he had other sisters and brothers who have lots of memories of Davis, our oldest, kind twin brother of David."

- Angela Jones Daves [February 21, 2002]

Sister Leslie:
"My memories of Davis are his quick laugh, patience, and easy smile. He needed all those things to be big brother to so many of us. Thank heavens he had his identical twin, David, to share the burden.
Davis was always helping Mom or Dad around the house or playing with one of us. He did all with a gentle style. He had a good sense of humor, but a bad sense of timing which meant he was accident prone. This was a great concern to us when he headed to Vietnam.
On March 20, 1966 I remember him giving me a hug and trying to explain that our Dad had passed away in the night. He was the anchor I hung onto while there was chaos all around.
The next day Davis took me, Laura, and John uptown to buy a kite. He explained why we weren't in school when the clerk questioned us. It almost ruined our moment of escape from such a harsh reality, but he handled it well. Soon we had that kite flying high when I asked Davis if he thought Dad could see the kite from heaven. He didn't hesitate a second but said,
'Sure Dad can see us just fine and he'll always be with us.'
That sure helped me through a rough time and 18 months later it helped me when we were told that Davis was killed.
I always wanted to know more about the time Davis spent in Vietnam, but there was never anyone to ask until 34 years later when we were contacted by Richard Pierce. I have been very thankful that he found us because I know now that Davis was not alone in a strange place, but surrounded by many fine friends. It is tough to hear some the information, but I feel I have been given a gift. The gift of knowing my brother a little better even after he's been gone so many years."

- Leslie Jones Simonson [December 12, 2001]

These glasses were returned with his other personal things. Hard to see in this poor picture, they always intrigued us as kids because the cracks in both lenses look like peace symbols.

Brother John:
"It's somewhat difficult to attribute memories to just Davis as I always thought of Davis and David not as a single person by any means, but certainly as always together.
I remember...
...Davis and David always talking about their paper routes and thought that was so 'grown up' especially since Davis delivered the Cleveland Press and had to get up really early for it. I remember thinking it was a big deal. One time, for some reason, Davis and I stayed at home alone, and since he had to get up early for his route, he was supposed to wake me and drop me off to Mom at Flora Horr's home. Well, I convinced him I was fine and stayed by myself though I'm sure he got in some trouble for allowing it.
...Playing army with Davis and David in the back yard on Forest St. especially after the big tree was cut down and how many great hiding places there were with the big sections of tree trunk strewn about the yard.
...Being taught to play baseball by them and eventually inheriting Davis's catcher's mitt and to this day, batting left handed thanks to southpaw, David.
...Davis teaching me how to use the power mower instead of the 'baby' reel type mower. (in retrospect, surprising our folks allowed this given Davis's propensity to accidents-losing a toe, calf stepping on foot, etc.)
...Being taught to ride a bike down the little 'hill' in the back yard.
...Davis and David helping me build many, many model cars and Davis making one into a 'funny' car but never understanding what was funny about it.
...Racing slot cars in the basement.
...The time the tornado hit and Dad, Davis, and David weren't home and how worried we all were. Then Davis and David going to Pittsfield to help reset headstones at the cemetery.
...One of my fondest memories was something that occurred frequently. Since I shared a bedroom with them, I remember falling asleep with them reading by the light of the old, fluorescent headboard light, with them speaking quietly to each other, and with the sound of Davis's pink AM clock/radio softly playing music (with a fair bit of static).
...At the funeral, my cousin and I 'stood guard' at the entry doors and would try to synchronize opening the double doors when people approached so we could effect a military flair.
...Larry Mellick playing taps at Davis's funeral and years later I played taps at his father's funeral.
Leslie just gave me a 2001 Christmas ornament and it, in part, said 'Rediscovering Davis'. I thought that was utterly perfect as while I, by no means had forgotten Davis, I hadn't thought of him much other than on May 9th and November 2nd each year.
It was truly a wonderful gift being contacted by Rich and learning what actually happened that night and that Davis touched so many other lives.
Love you brother."

- John Jones [December 30, 2001]

Davis sent these fancy silk pajamas to
his youngest sister Laura as a gift.

Youngest Sister Laura:
"Although I was only 8 years old when Davis was killed I have several very clear memories of him.
The thing I remember the most was how kind and gentle he was. He must have been to give his little sister so many piggyback rides up and down the staircase without complaining. Davis, I have great faith you know how much we all love you and miss you.
Thanks so much to Rich for spending his time sharing with us. Of course, thank you to all who served on our behalf - may you never be forgotten."

- Laura Jones Butti [December 8, 2001]

Tribute from an eight year old:
"Davis is dead. My dear brother. I loved him. Love, Laura".

Youngest Brother Philip:
"I was five years old in 1967, and remember Davis holding me by the hands and swinging me between his legs like I was on a trapeze, getting higher in the air with each pass. I loved that.
I remember the Minister and a Marine coming to the house and everybody crying. It reminded me of the year before when our Dad died.
Then the funeral, with the glass-topped coffin and Davis down inside. There was a living Marine there standing at attention in his dress blues, and I remember him never changing his expression but there were tears coming down his cheeks. Later I learned that it was Davis and David's boyhood friend Russ Sword. He also presented the flag to my Mom after the flag folding ceremony at the cemetery.
I remember somebody trying to console me and telling me that I was a mighty lucky little boy to have a United States Marine as my guardian angel. That made me proud.
I am so thankful to have met Rich and to know that he was there with Davis. Then to have Doc share with us - it is all truly a blessing. I have a profound respect for their service to this country, and the kindness of the gift that they have given us."

- Philip Jones [December 8, 2001]

Niece Courtney:
"I never got to meet you, but I see you in my dad, your twin brother. I have learned alot about you and I know that you are a great man; I just want you to know how proud I am to say that you are my Uncle. Even though it hurts alot not to have known you I know I will know you one day.
You fought and died serving our country, and I, like alot of other people, will never forget that, we all love you Uncle Davis.
Your Niece ~ Courtney Jones"

Courtney Jones [October 10, 2001]

Niece Lindsay:
I have thought about you alot over the years, listening to my father (your twin) talk about how special you are. I don't think I fully understood what he meant until I met Rich. He told us how much you meant to them and I finally found out how much you meant to everyone's life you touched. I sometimes wonder if you would be bald like my father now and if I could tell you apart. I would have loved the chance to get to know you and see for myself how special you were. You mean alot to everyone you were around, and someday I will meet you and finally figure out what everyone else all ready knows. You have a very special place in my heart and always will. Till we meet...
Your Niece, Lindsay"

-Lindsay Jones [February 26, 2002]