Kenneth Dale Jones was born on October 21, 1947 to Edwin Kenneth Jones and Fern Eleanor Otteman Jones in Burlington, Colorado. Kenneth was the eldest of 11 children. Kenneth was lovingly referred to as Butch, by his family and Kenny by his adult friends. Kenny had five brothers and five sisters. Kenny grew up in several places; but Kansas and Oklahoma are where he lived most of his life. In high school he met his first true love, Karen Ann Divine. Before Kenny finished high school, the Vietnam War had begun and Kenny and his friend went to enlist, so they would not be drafted. Kenny served briefly in the US Navy Seabee’s and primarily in the US Army. While on leave, Kenny returned home and married Karen Divine on August 16, 1969. They made their home in Kansas and eventually moved to Oklahoma. Kenny was Honorably Discharged from the Army in December of that same year.
Kenny and Karen had three girls. Tonya Lynn, Kendra Leann and Jessi Lizabeth. Kenny loved his daughters and when they became older and had children, he dearly loved his grandchildren and subsequent great grandchildren.
Kenny was a hard worker and held several jobs during his lifetime. When Kenny began to work in law enforcement, he knew he had found his life’s calling. He worked for the Stilwell Sheriff’s Office for several years. He made many friends and had fond memories of his years working in the Sherriff’s Office. Kenny then began working for the Tahlequah Police Department and it was at this time when his family moved to Tahlequah. He served as a patrolman, detective and a captain during his employment. In January of 2004, his beloved wife, Karen became ill and she passed away.
Later that year he began dating and married his wife, Nancy K. Burlison (Wyly) Jones. They continued to live in Tahlequah, but eventually moved to Moodys, Oklahoma. Kenny loved the quiet solitude of the country.
Kenny enjoyed working with his fellow officers at the Tahlequah Police Department and the brotherhood of the police force. He worked well with other law enforcement agencies in our county and enjoyed the friendships that were made. Kenny was a quiet man, with a good sense of humor; but was known to do the right thing and follow the law. He retired as a captain of the Tahlequah Police Department in March of 2009.
Kenny died peacefully at his home on Saturday, December 2, 2023. He died with the same dignity he tried to live in his life.
Kenny was preceded in death by his father, Edwin K. Jones; infant brothers, Donald and Jackie Dean; infant sister Leann and his first wife Karen A. Jones.
Left to treasure his memory are his wife, Nancy K. Jones of the home, daughter Tonya Jones and Tony of Falcon, Missouri; Kendra Campbell of Seminole, Oklahoma and Jessi Swint and husband, Shawn of Peggs, Oklahoma. He also leaves behind stepson, Jake Wyly of Moodys, Oklahoma. Kenny was blessed with grandchildren, Rachel Cuddy (husband-Garth), Savanna Cuddy, Morgan Hogner(husband-Christian), Miles Hodge (wife-Shelby), Caney Hodge, Colbi Hodge and Weston Swint. He was so proud to have his great grandchildren, Conner Cuddy, Ella Hodge, Kensley Hodge and Sadie Stephens.
Kenny also leaves behind his mother, Fern Jones of Pueblo, Colorado; brothers, Dan Jones (Jeanae) of Eucha, Oklahoma; Jeff Jones (Elizabeth) of Edmond, Oklahoma and Brian Jones (Dawnita) of McCune, Kansas. He leaves sisters, Connie Johnson (Craig) of Pueblo, Colorado; Debbie Yanez (Victor) of Parsons, Kansas; Pamela Bellejos of Parsons, Kansas and Jody Belew of Frontenac, Kansas. He leaves behind several nieces and nephews and a brother-in-law, Billy Divine, of Parsons, Kansas; brother-in-law, Bob Burlison Jr. of Atoka, Oklahoma and sister-in-law, Sue Burlison of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He also leaves behind and will meet again with his brotherhood he served with at the Tahlequah Police Department.
Serving as pallbearers for his funeral are: Miles Hodge, Caney Hodge, Jake Wyly, Shawn Swint, Steve Garner and Lewis Walker. Honorary pallbearers will be his granddaughters, Rachel, Savanna, Morgan, Colbi and his grandson Weston, who is currently serving in the Army overseas.
Hart Funeral home has been entrusted with Kenny’s final care. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at Exciting Southeast Baptist Church located north of Tahlequah on Highway 82. Pastor Rob Pierce will officiate his funeral service. To comply with Kenny’s other wishes, there will be no graveside service. Kenny will be buried at Tahlequah City Cemetery, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.