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Vance Murphey Jones, Jr.

December 2, 1937 ~ January 13, 2018 (age 80)
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Vance Murphey Jones, Jr., 80, of Heber Springs, Arkansas, passed away Saturday, January 13, 2018. He was born in Texarkana, Texas on December 2, 1937. He was preceded by his parents, Vance Murphey Jones, Sr. and Bonnie Katherine Vann Jones, and his brother, George Awtrey Jones of Texarkana, Texas.


Vance is survived by his wife, Joyce Rae Timmons, formerly of Houston, Texas; daughter, Sunita Kumari Jones of Alameda, California; and a son, Vance Murphey Jones, III of Heber Springs, Arkansas. Other survivors include his sisters: Sandra Gail (John Robert) Rea of Wake Village, Texas and Bonnie Kaye (Dennis) Coats of Atlanta, Texas; brother-in-law, Charles Boyd (Marinelle) Timmons of Dickinson, Texas; special friends Harpo and Fiona at the home; and many nieces and nephews.


Vance had a profound common sense combined with a strong analytical mind, a deep commitment to racial equality, a clean environment, and an abiding sense of fairness. He enjoyed being with family and life’s simple pleasures of fishing, reading science fiction and writing. A dedicated public servant, Vance served in both the Marine Corps and the Peace Corps. He worked in state and local government and public education. He served in leadership positions in the administrations of Arkansas Governors Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, and Bill Clinton. During his state government career, he headed the Office of Governmental Efficiency, Department of Finance and Administration, and the Public Service Commission. He also served one term on the Board of the Little Rock School District, and he worked as Director of Finance and Interim School Superintendent for the LRSD. In addition, he served as the Director of Finance for the Alexandria, Virginia public schools. Perhaps his greatest public service contribution was mentoring numerous young professional public administrators and educators.


Vance attended public schools in Texarkana, Texas and Lon Morris Junior College. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Texas at Arlington. After college, he and his family returned to Texarkana, Arkansas, where he played a leadership role in the Model Cities Program before moving to Little Rock to join the Bumpers administration. A memorial and celebration of his life will be held 3 p.m. February 17 at the residence of Ralph and Gayle Hoffman, 16 Pointe Clear Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72212. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Heber Springs or to a charity of your choice.   

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