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Mr. Herbert B. Jones' Life


Herb was nine years old when his family came to the Pacific Northwest from Iowa. The eldest of three siblings, he was born on October 28, 1902. They settled in Selah. It was natural for young Herb to find a business opportunity in the orchards. After graduating from high school and in his early twenties, he built crates, filled with fruit and drove to Seattle, selling in the Seattle Pike Place Market.

He got into some bookkeeping in the fruit industry and finally spent a year with a bank in Kennewick. In 1923 he moved to Seattle to pursue his goal of a college education at the University of Washington. He took a summer job in a fish cannery at Taco Harbor, Alaska to gain enough money. In the Fall, he returned for a year at the U. Needing funds, he took a job at a Seattle bank for a year and a half. His major in Maritime Commerce required six months at sea. He left his bank job to meet the requirement but spent two years at sea.

Upon his return, he was a bookkeeper at the National Bank of Commerce. There he met a young woman making deposits for her brother-in-law. Alice Gowan and Herb were married in August 1933.

In 1935 Herb left the Bank for a job with Kraft Distributors. Working as a cheese salesman taught him a lot about hard work and provided lessons in salesmanship. In 1940 he got a sales job with Remington Rand, the office machine company. In 1942 he took a leave of absence and joined the Army Transport Service, steering ships through the North Pacific to transport troops to the Aleutians. After the war, he returned to Remington Rand.

Herb opened his own business in 1947. Business Machine Service, his company, represented Remington Rand. During this time, Herb would obtain several machines from the company, obtaining volume discounts, and then loaning machines to staff members at prospective clients. The staff member would tell the boss how good it was and the sale was made. However, Remington Rand learned of his marketing techniques and required the return of the discounts. Herb simply began importing the Addo-x, a well-made Swedish adding machine instead. He did so well he became known among the local business machine marketers as the Addo-X King.

Herb retired in 1971. His beloved Alice passed away in 1981. He realized he wanted to do something worthwhile with his estate. He wanted to help with programs, which offered encouragement to those, interested in small business and entrepreneurism. In the 1980's Herb was able to work with the faculties at Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Pacific Lutheran University and Green River Community College. He was able to participate on advisory committees, mentor programs, and shared his insights regarding small business with students. He enthusiastically enjoyed his participation.

Prior to his death in 1998, he created the Herbert B. Jones Foundation to fund these programs.

The Early Years

    Herbert Jones, who preferred to be known as Herb, was born on October 28, 1902, in Dubuque, Iowa, where his father worked for the post office. He was the eldest of three children, having a brother, Victor, 4-1/2 years younger, and a sister, Virginia, 12 years younger. Herb's parents were Edward White Jones and Edna Bossard. On his father's side, the Whites were said to have come over on the Mayflower. Through the Bossards on his mother's side, he was descended from a man who made carriages in England for the Queen.      When his mother's parents moved to Redmond, Washington, Herb's family visited the Pacific Northwest on vacation, and liked it well enough to move there. They settled in Selah, Washington, where Herb's father opened a grocery store, and later went into the clothing business. Herb was nine years old and in the fourth grade when the family left Iowa. He graduated from high school in Selah.      Since Selah is in the heart of Eastern Washington's fruit industry, it was natural for young Herb to find a business opportunity through the nearby orchards. In his early twenties he hit upon the scheme of building crates which he filled with fruit and sold at Seattle's Pike Place Market. His sister helped him make the crates, and although she was only about thirteen at the time, she helped drive the truck over the mountain pass to Seattle. Despite the difference in ages, the two were quite companionable. 

The Workaday World

    From high school on, Herb worked in the fruit industry, at first in outside jobs. He started at a very low salary to learn the business, and then got into the bookkeeping end of things. Apparently he didn't see a future for himself in that business, however, and through an agency obtained a job with a bank in Kennewick, where he sold bank stock, and helped with personnel. After a year in Kennewick he felt ready to pursue his goal of a college education, and in 1923 he moved to Seattle with the hope of entering the University of Washington. Finding that he did not have enough money to do so, he took a summer job in a fish cannery at Taco Harbour, Alaska.      He returned in the fall to Seattle and then attended the University for one year. Again he ran out of money, and went to work in a Seattle bank for a year and a half, planning to complete his college education later on. The course in Maritime Commerce which he had been pursuing at the University required that he go to sea for six months. He left his bank job in order to get this requirement out of the way, but instead of six months at sea, he spent two years. 

Save a Thousand Dollars...

    Returning to Seattle, he obtained work as a bookkeeper at the National Bank of Commerce. Although he did not continue with a career in banking, a man in the bank who befriended him gave him the following advice: "Save a thousand dollars, and then invest it." Herb later thanked the man for leading him in that direction, which he believed played an important role in his later success in business.      He still planned to return to college when he could afford it, but romance intervened. A pretty and petite young woman named Alice Gowan visited the bank frequently to make deposits for her brother-in-law's dental office, where she was employed. Friendly greetings in the bank led to a closer relationship, and in August 1933 Alice and Herb were married.      Since both were employed, they decided a house would be a good investment. With the country in the grip of the Great Depression, they were able to buy a nice house for $2,905.00. By 1935, however, the bank was cutting back on its staff, and Herb found himself without a job, and with a house payment to meet. For a while he worked as a real estate salesman, but feeling the need of a more dependable source of income he took a job with Kraft Distributors. After a couple of years in their office he went out on a sales territory, earning $40 a week. He said in later years that working as a cheese salesman taught him a lot about hard work, but also provided invaluable lessons in salesmanship.      In 1940 he was offered a job with Remington-Rand, the office machine company, where the sales training he had received with Kraft gave him the confidence to work on straight commission. He was employed there until he was 40 years old. In later years he said he felt that the Great Depression tested one's fortitude. Somehow he and Alice passed the test and managed to survive those lean years by dint of hard work and faith in the future. 

Then Came Pearl Harbor

    With the country's entry into World War II in 1941, the economy picked up considerably. As the war continued, however, Herb feared that even though he was now 40 years old, he might be drafted. In 1942, therefore, he took a leave of absence from his job and joined the Army Transport Service, steering ships through the North Pacific to transport troops to the Aleutians. His two years in the merchant marine had given him the necessary training and skills for this work. There was a considerable degree of risk involved, since the Japanese had made a landing on the Aleutian island of Attu. He remained with the Army Transport Service until the war was almost over, sending home his pay during those years.      Resuming work at Remington-Rand he did so well that he was offered the position of branch manager in Salt Lake City, but he preferred to remain in Seattle. 

A Business of His Own

    In 1947 he took the major step of opening his own business, called Business Machine Service. The Remington-Rand inventory he was able to obtain offerd his young business a boost. His previous years in office machine sales gave him the confidence he needed, and he enjoyed the challenge of sales work. He later opened a second store called Typewriter Clinic. He developed a philosophy of successful selling based on the following tenets, expressed by Herb in a report to a friend:      "A salesman on commission soon learns how to present the product with a truthful, sincere description of what the product can do. You learn about selling through the turndowns and the successes. You learn what works and what doesn't. Sell something you know something about. Work as many hours of the day as possible with potential customers, even if you don't make a sale. If you work consistently you'll learn from all the successes and challenges. If the product is going to help the person, that will help in your success as well."      While dealing with the Remington-Rand adding machines Herb came up with a unique marketing concept. He would order a number of machines from the company in order to obtain discounts, and would then lend them out to potential customers. He would lend one to a staff member, who would tell the boss how good it was, so a sale was made. Eventually Remington-Rand learned of this creative approach and required that he return the discounts he had obtained. This was but a minor setback to the enterprising entrepreneur. He simply began importing the Addo-X, a well-made Swedish adding machine, instead. He did so well with it that he became known among local business machine marketers as the Addo-X king. 


    Herb made friends with others in the office machine business, and it was a mark of his friendly personality that he got along well with those who were his competitors. Duane Victor was in the cash register business, and recalls Herb's success with the Addo-X. "He would import the machines from Sweden and I would purchase stock from him, which I sold along with my cash registers. It was a very good adding machine. Herb was a gentleman, and treated everyone with kindness and respect."      Ted Klein was another friend who was in a business like Herb's. "We used to get together to talk business," Ted recalled. "I would drop in to visit him at his store. As Herb's business prospered, his wife played a helpful role in its success. In addition to assisting with the paper work, Alice enjoyed waiting on those who dropped into the store. When customers were helped by Alice or Herb, they quite often were not aware that the business was owned by the courteous and obliging sales person with whom they were dealing. Herb kept the business much longer than he needed to, because he really enjoyed it." 

Family Members

    Herb and Alice had no children. His sister, Virginia, was married at age 16 to Edward Charbonneau, and they had one daughter, LaVonne Pflueger, who lives in Edmonds. "My grandparents were much opposed to my mother's early marriage," said LaVonne, "and somehow my Uncle Herb got drawn into the quarrels over that, creating a family rift. However it proved to be a happy marriage. After my father's death my mother married Wes Linse. In her later years, sadly, she became a victim of Alzheimer's, and died in a care facility at age 84.      Their brother, Victor, died in the 1960's. "Victor was married, and had no children. He was an interesting man who was a skilled artist. He was a sculptor, and trained in marionette work with various artists in Seattle. One of his projects was sculpting animals at the Woodland Park Zoo, for use by a woman who ran a prominent art school in Seattle. When I was a little girl he used to take me with him to the zoo. We'd bring a sack lunch and sit there on a bench while he sculpted these bears. It was really exciting for me as a kid.      "After that, Victor lived in New York for a number of years, where his work was used in Macy's window displays. He made many displays for the Museum of Natural History in New York, where he did a lot of dinosaur work. I don't think Uncle Herb really could relate to Victor's artistic leanings, being such a serious banker type himself." 

Investments Beckon

When Herb opened his store in 1947, he ordered some plastic signs from a company called American Plastics, and got to know the company's owner and his wife, Jo Hunt, who was a real estate broker. By 1959 Herb and Alice had accumulated enough capital to warrant an investment program. They sought the assistance of Jo Hunt because of her special interest in vacant land as an investment.      "I had a one-woman office," said Jo, "and I would scout out these properties. If I found something I thought could make money for Herb, I would call him. The first acreage I got for him was in Kingston, which was a pretty sleepy area at that time. Herb and I went out to look at the property and he bought it. I think he held it for a little over a year, and quadrupled his money. From then on I found many properties for him, and although I had other clients, I gave Herb first crack at everything. He could always raise whatever money was needed, or get it from the bank. I think he had unlimited credit.      "Over the years I made more than a million dollars for him. He and his wife became friends with my family, and they would entertain us at their home. Alice and I had something in common. We both were little people. I was 5'1" tall, and Alice would sometimes kick off her shoes to see if she wasn't taller than I was, but she wasn't.      "After Herb retired I continued to work with him on real estate until his health began to fail. When I would visit him in those later years he liked to reminisce about how good a team we had been in the purchase of properties. After his wife died of cancer in 1981, Herb was very depressed. I would sometimes meet him for lunch at Palisade or The Wharf and tried to cheer him up a little. Herb was really one in a million, and was the most honest man I have ever met." 

Card Games Are Serious Too

    Herb and Alice had bought a waterfront home in Magnolia near the locks, and enjoyed entertaining their friends there. Poker and pinochle were interests which they enjoyed. Myrna Edgerton Schlee and her first husband (now deceased) were in a group of friends who enjoyed playing cards with Herb and Alice.     "We met Herb through a friend named Orpha Gain," said Myrna. "She and her husband, Chuck, invited us to play cards with Herb and Alice, and it became a regular thing. Pauline Lovell and her husband, John, also joined us. We had one group that played pinochle and another group that played penny-ante poker. We met once a month. The women would cook a dinner, and afterward we played cards. Sometimes a group of us would go over and have lunch with Herb and Alice on their deck, overlooking the canal. It was very pleasant. Herb was a pretty good poker player, and he would help Alice play. They had a very happy marriage, and I never heard a cross word between them. He was very serious about his poker playing, and in fact was quite a serious person. Herb was redheaded as a young fellow, but it wasn't very red anymore when I knew him.      "Our card-playing days tapered off as we lost our members to death or illness. Herb was a good friend. After he lost his wife and I was widowed, we kept in touch. He loved zucchini bread that I made for him, and he would call me up and say 'Myrna, I ate the last slice of zucchini bread,' so I'd take him over another loaf. I'd go and get him and take him out to Ivar's for clam chowder, which he loved. We both loved shoes. He'd say to me, 'I notice you have another pair of shoes,' and he'd generally have a new pair too. Herb was very generous with the people he loved. He always gave me a lovely Christmas present. I remember that he gave his sister-in-law a Cadillac which he had driven. She ended up in a store window in Greenwood, but she wasn't hurt.      "As Herb's health declined, Mike Bauer arranged for caretakers for him. One of them was Thuan, a Vietnamese woman, who was very good to him. She made egg rolls for him, which he loved. When he still felt up to it, she would drive him down to Chinatown to several places he liked to visit. He thought a lot of her. When I visited him we would sit and talk for a long time, and he would say, 'Don't you miss our card games?' He looked back on them very fondly, and so do I. We all loved Herb, and I have very warm memories of him."      Pauline Lovell also remembers the card parties and nostalgia. "My husband worked for Herb in his office equipment business for quite a few years, and they were close friends," said Pauline. "After we all reached retirement age we did more things together. Herb was rather straitlaced, but he could have a sense of humor. His main interest seemed to be his investments. He came up the hard way, and really worked for everything he had. So did Alice. They enjoyed travel, and took trips to many interesting places. After Alice died, Herb made a trip to China by himself, but I think he didn't enjoy that as much as when he had his wife as a travel companion." 

Travels Abroad

    Herb and Alice went to Europe twice, and also on a safari to Africa. In their visits to other countries Alice found unique items for her collection of antiques. She also added to her collection by attending estate sales. They had a very close relationship, and Herb enjoyed providing nice things for his wife. As for himself, he had no expensive hobbies or interests which required great expenditures of money, although he did like to dress well. His friends have commented on his interest in well-tailored clothes, and particularly in shoes. He felt that wearing the appropriate, high-quality shoes was very important to making a good appearance. 

Stocks and Bonds

    At the time that Herb and Jo Hunt were seeking out real estate bargains in the 1960's, he was also investing in the stock market. He was fortunate in finding really topnotch investment advisors, who would provide the kind of hands-on research on stocks and bonds that Jo Hunt had provided in his real estate endeavors. On one occasion his advisor learned of some Penn Central railroad bonds which were drastically discounted because Penn Central had been broke. Herb bought the bonds at a very low price, and made a great deal of money on them. It was probably his most lucrative financial investment. Friends have commented that Herb thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of investing, and loved to talk about the various investments he was making. He was loathe to recommend specific investments for fear they might incur a loss, but several friends followed his lead on a particular investment, to their advantage. 

Estate Planning

    In the 1970's Herb became acquainted with Mike Bauer, who was a trust officer at Rainier Bank. That bank later consolidated with Seattle-First National Bank, which more recently became Bank of America, where Bauer was a vice-president.      "At the time we met," said Bauer, "Herb was in his 70's, and had retired from his business in 1971. He was concerned about leaving his wife in a secure financial position in the event of his death, and we developed his estate plan along with his attorney. Under their Wills, Herb and Alice established a trust for the benefit of the survivor, with the remainder going to charity. Upon Alice's death in 1981, Herb became the trustee of her estate, with her trust benefiting him for his lifetime. Alice left her half of the trust to the Northwest Kidney Center. I believe she may have had a friend or relative who had been a patient there. Following her death Herb continued his activity in his investments, and enjoyed enlarging his base.      "Eventually he became concerned about what should be done about his estate, since he and Alice had no children. He had not been particularly oriented toward charitable giving during his lifetime. He came to realize, however, that there were advantages to helping with a worthwhile project during one's lifetime. He therefore sought my help in finding a project in which he would feel comfortable about participating while still alive, and for which he could make provision in his Will.      "In the 1980's I was able to introduce him to faculty members and staff of Seattle Pacific University, Green River Community College, Pacific Lutheran University, and Seattle University. At the Seattle University School of Business he met Harriet Stephenson, Professor of Management in the School of Business. She helped Herb get involved with the areas of small business and entrepreneurship. He wanted to help with programs which offered encouragement to those interested in small business."      Herb served on the advisory board for selection of scholarship recipients, and shared some insights regarding small business and entrepreneurship with students.      Professor Stephenson was teaching an undergraduate course in which students offered consulting advice to owners of small businesses who sought their assistance.      "In order to acquaint Herb with our operation," said Professor Stephenson, "I made him a member of one of the teams of students. He attended classes twice a week and also worked with the students outside of class as they prepared an analysis of the business seeking their help. Herb enjoyed this hands-on activity, and was very enthusiastic about the project."      When a new Dean of the School of Business, Jerry Viscioni, arrived, he helped Herb explore the possibility of endowing some programs. By the time Herb was in his eighties he was providing regular funding for a valuable mentoring program in the School of Business. In the late 1980's Herb set up the Herbert B. Jones Foundation. 

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation

    In a report to a friend Herb said: "My gift was an investment in a school and a program in which I have been involved. I saw the quality of Harriet Stephenson and Jerry Viscioni, and knew what they were trying to do. I wanted to help them. If you are lucky enough to be old and healthy, you have an opportunity to think about the good things in life-- and if public-spirited, you start thinking about what you can do to be a part of it.      "My investment in Seattle University is fun--especially having an opportunity to see my gifts make a difference. I truly am lucky to be alive and to be around the quality of people at Seattle University."      Since its inception, the Herbert B. Jones Foundation has continued to offer a yearly stipend to the School of Business at Seattle University, "Mainly it is used to run a program called Small Business Institute," said Professor Stephenson. "Any small business can apply for help from students. One quarter we worked with a dozen start-up businesses which were going through an inner-city training program. We have done some not-for-profits as well.      "Students do a comprehensive report, making copies for themselves as well as the business owner. Students have come back later and said, 'You know, this report really helped demonstrate to my prospective employer the kind of work I was capable of doing for them.'      "As Herb's health declined," said Professor Stephenson, "it became difficult for him to get around, but our friendship continued until his death. His generosity to our programs is a fitting memorial not only to his successful business career, but to his desire to help others achieve business success. He was quite the gentleman." 

Help for Hearing Impaired Children

    Another organization which benefits from the Herbert B. Jones Foundation is the Northwest School for Hearing Impaired Children. Its co-director, Karen Appelman, helped to found the non-profit school in 1982.      “During the period when I was fundraising to start the school,” said Ms. Appelman, “I worked for two years for Jo Hunt, selling vacant land. At that time I met Herbert B. Jones, and he later became a donor to our school. We have ten classrooms, with six children to a classroom, because they require so much individualization of the curriculum. The children come to us at age three, and go through eighth grade.      “Most programs for the deaf teach American Sign Language, but we are teaching students to sign exact English. ASL is not English, and has a different syntax. As a result, you have deaf high school students who graduate with third or fourth grade English skills. Basically they can’t read and write and communicate in English, and are therefore shut out of many jobs. A high percentage of deaf people have to draw on welfare. Herb loved our school because by teaching our students to sign exact English we are helping them develop into citizens who can read and write and contribute tax dollars rather than be dependant upon the taxpayers. Herb always said it wasn’t a donation he was making to our school – it was an investment in future taxpayers. He provided an annual gift to the school until his death, and through the Herbert B. Jones Foundation we continued to receive a yearly stipend. Herb sometimes visited the school, and was always invited to any functions we had.” 

A Friendship Grows

    “Through his interest in the school, Herb and I became good friends,” said Karen Appelman. “We spoke on the phone about once a week, and often had lunch or dinner together. I loved to hear his insights into investing, and his philosophy. He would lend me his Fortune and Money magazines so I could learn about investing. Sometimes if he told me he was buying a thousand shares of a stock I would buy 100 shares, and did quite well by following his lead.      “He loved talking about various investment philosophies. He was a big fan of Warren Buffet, and also of Benjamin Franklin, and would quote from his sayings. Herb used to say, ‘Luck is opportunity dressed up in working clothes.’ He felt you had to prepare yourself and be ready for opportunity. That saying may have come from Benjamin Franklin. Another saying of his has helped me a lot in life: ‘Things don’t always go the way you want them to. You have to just do your best. You have to be like Laurel and Hardy and just say, “Easy come, easy go.”’ Herb must have repeated that to me fifty times over the ten years I knew him, but it’s such an important philosophy for life. I think that’s how Herb managed to stay so cheerful. He was a real gentleman, and used to tell me I was like a little sister to him.      “When Herb was about 90, he and I formed a partnership called Magic Partners. Shortly before that, some friends and I built a four-unit condominium in the Eastlake neighborhood, near Lake Union. We pooled our funds to build it, and then each of us bought our own condo. When Herb saw how well that went he said, ‘Karen, let’s do that ourselves, and then sell the condos for profit.’      I was in charge of the building project, and Herb managed the finances. We bought a piece of property that had a dilapidated house on it, about two blocks from where I live. It had beautiful views of Lake Union. I developed a plan for a four-unit apartment building. We waited a whole year for that property to come up, so Herb was then 91. I worked with the contractor, and Mike Bauer would bring Herb over to see the building go up in stages. We finished the building in September of 1994, just before he turned 92. His health was deteriorating by then, but there he was, still doing an entrepreneurial project! We made an excellent profit on it and he was thrilled.      “Herb really believed in exercise. He used to love to take walks with his neighbor, Claire Thompson, and her dog. He loved that dog. When I met him in 1986 he used to walk five miles a day. I’d walk with him sometimes. We’d walk through Discovery Park, over to the Red Apple market, then back – or we’d walk to the locks. Even in his 90’s he’d have his caretakers help him take a walk. I think it kept him young.      “I particularly admired Herb’s positive attitude. He didn’t want to dwell on things that were sad. When he became ill he would keep me informed, but didn’t want to dwell on the state of his health. He was a real thinker, and he liked to stimulate his mind. In the early years of our friendship he kept track of various stocks and mutual funds, and every week on the phone he would tell me how they did that week. Toward the end of his life his eyesight was failing, so our roles were reversed. I kept track of the numbers, and read them to him on the phone. Before I called I’d try to think of interesting things I could tell him. His caretakers told me he would really perk up when I called.      “No matter how much money Herb had, he always was down to earth. He used to tell me, ‘The purpose of money is so you can be in control of your life.’ He didn’t need to go out and buy a Lexus or a Mercedes. I think the last car he bought was a Nissan Maxima.      "Herb really educated me about investing. I used to tell him he was my favorite teacher, and he would tell me what a good pupil I was. It was a great relationship and I miss him." 

Helpful Advice

    Another close friend of Herb Jones particularly admired the diligence with which he kept track of his financial affairs. Janet Woods, who now is a vice-president of Bastyr University in Seattle, was herself closely attuned to financial matters as Director of Major Gifts at Seattle University when she met Mr. Jones in 1990 through his association with the college.      "We became close friends over the years," said Miss Woods, "and I benefited greatly from Herb's willingness to educate me in such matters as mutual funds. He had a very diplomatic way of imparting his knowledge to others. Although I was trained as a teacher, I told Herb he was a much better teacher than I. He would illustrate his points with gentle stories, and was anxious to transfer the wealth of experiences that he had in life. We don't have enough of that in society today. The foundation he established embodied his wish to help students benefit from the experience of other entrepreneurs through such methods as mentoring and seminars.      "He was wonderful at mathematics, and could make rapid-fire calculations in his head when needed, although he found the pocket calculator to be a trusty companion. He kept one next to his television set, and during our financial discussions at his home he would go to the calculator frequently to make his point. He subscribed to Forbes and Fortune magazines and was generous in sharing them with me and with others.      "He impressed upon me the need to keep close track of one's investments. He tracked his mutual funds on a weekly basis with a special grid, knew who their money manager was, and on occasion would contact that person if some change seemed imminent. He did not make quick decisions regarding his portfolio, but instead was very analytical. Much of his recreation centered around his investments. He would go to the library to study financial matters, and never missed Wall Street Week on TV, as well as any other program dealing with such matters. Although generous in many ways, Herb did have a basically thrifty nature. Rather than pay expensive downtown parking fees, he preferred to ride the bus to the bank to clip his coupons. It gave him something to do, and he enjoyed the ride.      "When Herb knew I was saving to buy a house he tried to discourage me from doing so, claiming it was not a good investment. This seemed strange advice from one who had made so much money from real estate. Perhaps his caution was based on the fact that I am a single woman. His warnings that there would be a great deal of responsibility for maintenance over the years have indeed proved correct, although I don't think he placed enough value on the emotional satisfaction that owning a home would provide for me, particularly since he derived great enjoyment from his own home. His wife had died quite a few years before I met him, but it was obvious that he loved her very much. The antique furniture which they had collected from their travels was a welcome reminder to him of their happy years together.      "Herb enjoyed long walks in his later years and I sometimes accompanied him on these ventures. I gave him a Seattle University sweatshirt which he jauntily wore on our walks along with tennis shoes and a ball cap -- quite a change for one who was known for being very well dressed from head to toe (and especially as to shoes). I would wear my sweatshirt also on our walks, and I had the feeling passersby probably thought he was my grandfather. Actually he was someone you would love to have had as grandfather. He enjoyed being with younger persons, and on one occasion he joined eight of my friends as we went to the Ice Capades in the Key Arena, going to dinner first. He thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and although it extended past his bedtime he didn't mind, because he was out and about. That evening is but one of many happy memories I have of a good friend and a good teacher." 

Declining Health

    Although he had enjoyed good health for many years, by 1998 Herb's life had become very limited by illness. About five years before that he became unable to handle his investments, which had been a major interest and source of enjoyment for so long. Mike Bauer noted that this was a major detriment to Herb's enjoyment of life.      "He told me many years ago," said Bauer, "that he wouldn't be unhappy if he didn't wake up the next morning. Herbert B. Jones died on Easter Sunday of 1998. We held a nice memorial service at Palisade waterfront restaurant at the Magnolia Marina. I think the greatest memorial to him, however, is the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, through which his wealth is being used to help educate those who are interested in small business and in entrepreneurism, which were a major interest in his life. Herb had a year of college and had taken a correspondence course in accounting but he told me he felt that he could certainly have benefited from further education. Despite that lack, however, he was notably successful in both his business and investment careers. Through his Foundation's gifts to institutes of higher learning, for many years to come he will be giving others an opportunity to emulate his success.      "The Herbert B. Jones Foundation provides funding to such organizations as Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Green River Community College, Pacific Lutheran University, and the University of Washington, but is not necessarily limited to these schools. These organizations come to the Foundation's board with a grant request, to which we give careful consideration to make sure its in keeping with Herb's philosophy of encouraging self-improvement. He was a strong believer in the work of Dale Carnegie.      "As the Foundation's funds continue to grow, we encourage organizations to start thinking larger, because we need to spend more of the Foundation's income. In years to come this will require careful planning on the part of both the organizations seeking funds and our Board. Herb didn't want the Foundation's funds to be considered an annuity--just to say "Here's $50,000 a year, do what you want with it." He wanted a Board that actually monitored the program to make sure it was effective. That doesn't mean that failures can't be effective, because you learn from them, but you have to have reasonable programs and plans. We do not attempt to micro-manage the educational programs to which we give money, but in monitoring such things as hourly wages we bear in mind that Herbert B. Jones did not believe in simply handing someone a blank check without knowing how it would be spent.      "None of the organizations get money outright. The Foundation gets the money and distributes it, so we can review what they are doing with it. Herb liked the mentoring system, which allowed students to relate to someone in the business world. In the programs we have funded, the mentors are volunteers from the business community who meet with students on an individual basis to give them an idea of what is going on in the business world. Although the mentors are volunteers, our funding is needed to pay staff salaries, and set up a training program for the mentors.      "We want each organization to use its own originality and be stimulated to participate in programs, rather than our Board being the instigator. We are less interested in scholarships than in the programs offered by the institution.      "Our six Board members, who are selected for their background, are experienced in business. One member is a retired loan officer who worked with small businesses. My own background is in banking and investment." 

His Legacy

    "I have found my work for the Herbert B. Jones Foundation to be very rewarding, because I knew and admired Herb as both his friend and financial advisor throughout the twenty years of our association," said Mike Bauer. "In my participation on the Board, I try to bear in mind how Herb would want us to allocate the money he left in our care. I think not only of his generosity in setting up the Foundation, but I remember him also as a caring person. I think he was the only person I ever met who really never said anything negative about somebody else--it just wasn't in his nature. If there is a common thread that runs throughout the comments which other friends have made writing this life story, it is this: Herb Jones was a true gentleman."


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