LeRoy ”Beno” Jones, aged 90, died Jan. 17 at his home in Globe. The epitome of a cowboy, he leaves behind a legacy of service, hard work and loving family and friends in his wake.
Born Oct. 8, 1927 in Miami, Arizona to Claudie Leroy Scarlett and Roland M. Jones, Beno with his sister Doris and brother Elton, grew up on the family ranch where honest hard work was the rule. He graduated Miami High School in 1945 under the shadow of World War II and elected to go into the US Navy, serving as a Seaman First Class and earning the WWII Victory Medal.
He attended Northern Arizona University for a short time, but ranching had its hold and he returned to his roots. He married Beverly Franco in 1949 and they had a son Gary. Beno continued ranching after the couple divorced and Beverly and Gary moved to California.
Beno continued operating the RJ ranch which also included the VF Bar ranch near Russell Gulch. He married Leona McKee and worked for the US Forest Service while continuing to run the RJ Ranch. He and Leona did extensive traveling with friends since Beno enjoyed expanding his horizons and seeing new places.
Beno sold his ranch and moved to Denison, Texas where they opened a furniture store, but ranching again called and they moved across the Red River to Oklahoma, eventually building a home on 320 acres where he enjoyed what he loved most dabbling with his cattle and surrounded by his many pets.
He and Leona returned home for the Miami High multi-year reunions, but a long retirement together was not to be as Leona died not long into their retirement. On a visit back home he re-established ties with a high school friend Dean Flaiz and married soon after. They also enjoyed traveling, spending time in England, Ireland and many trips throughout the Southern states. After only 5 short years, he lost Dean to cancer. Beno packed up, sold his beloved cows and property, and moved back to Globe-Miami in 2000.
He was fortunate to reconnect with this childhood friend Peggy Smart who became his loving companion to the end. As age slowed him down, Beno enjoyed visiting with longtime roping and ranching friends. Almost daily you would find Beno revisiting the works of his favorite Western authors.
He was a long-time member of the Gila County Cattle Growers Association and the Elks Club.
Beno is survived by his loving companion Peggy Smart, son Gary (Teresa), grandson Michael (Kelly) great-grandson Nicholas and nieces Cheryl Wilson and Claudia Dalmolin. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Doris and her daughter Marsha, brother Elton and grandson Jeremy Jones.
An honorable gentleman, a once-in-a-lifetime friend, he was always there to help someone in need. We say good bye to our cowboy with his genuine smile and dapper appearance. A memorial will be held at a later date.