Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Garrett “Red” Elsworth Jones, age 93

Garrett “Red” Elsworth Jones was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on August 16, 1929, to Wyatt and Eva Jones.  He was 93.  He was married to Velma Bonita Webb on July 31, 1950, in Plainview, Texas. He was a retired Boilermaker and a member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers, AFL-CIO, CFL since June 1948.

He was a faithful Christian.  Among his favorite pastimes was reading the bible.  Which he had read through at least six times.  He lived an unbelievably fruitful and loving life.  Many of friends and family called him simply “Red”.  He played in the peach orchards of Whittier, California with former President Richard Nixon’s youngest brother, Edward.  The Nixon family owned the General Mercantile store in Whittier and gave him a Dollar Waterbury Watch for his eighth birthday in 1937.

He was an extraordinary entrepreneur and self-teacher.  He owned a peanut boiling business, flooring business, tree trimming business and was an accomplished silversmith, all self-taught. But perhaps his most impressive self-taught skill was flying airplanes. Beyond his love for God and his family, he loved flying airplanes.  To settle a debt he was owed, an acquaintance of his paid him with a 1942 Taylorcraft Airplane.  He began taxiing the airplane around a grass landing strip, got a few pointers from a pilot friend and began his love for flying.  While his family always had concerns about his safety when flying, he simply said, “If I crash, when you get to me, you’ll have to wipe the smile off of my face!”  When his wife, Bonita told him, “Your airplane hangar rental is more than our home’s.” He reluctantly but promptly sold his plane.  But at age 88, he relaunched his love of flying with formal lessons at the Saline County Airport in Bryant, Arkansas in 2017.

His view of life and living might best be illustrated by one of his favorite statements, “Every day’s a holiday and every meal’s a picnic.”

He was preceded in death by his father Wyatt, mother Eva, stepfather Ralph Lydall, wife Bonita and son Doug Hollis.

He is survived by his daughters, Jeanne Stovall and her husband Bill of Little Rock, Arkansas, Janet Smith and her husband Russell of Sherwood, Arkansas, granddaughters, Angela Johnson and her husband Jerry of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Audrey Busbea of Highland Park, Colorado, Bonnie Norwood and her husband Andrew of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Becca Smith of Chattanooga, Tennessee, grandson Shawn Hollis and family of Chillicothe, Missouri and three great-grandchildren, Clark, Merrick and Nellie Norwood of North Little Rock, Arkansas.

A visitation will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023 at 10:00am with a Graveside Service to follow at 11:00am at Cleburne County Memorial Gardens; 8701 State Hwy 110 W, Heber Springs, Arkansas 72543.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Viki McGary Moss and Marty Moss Posted April 24, 2023 9:16 PM

    Your dad sounds like someone I would like to have known! I’m sure you will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jeanne and Janet and the rest of your families.

  • Dale McMastera Posted April 25, 2023 7:45 AM

    Russ and Janet, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of this unique and special man. My condolences to you and a big hug too, if I could reach you. My prayers for God’s grace to comfort you are ascending today, Love you both!

  • Susan monk Posted April 25, 2023 12:58 PM

    Only met him a few times in your Tennessee home. Didn’t realize what a colorful life he had. Hugs

  • Debra Rogers Posted April 27, 2023 5:58 PM

    Heartfelt hugs and fervent prayers for you all! Red was an interesting guy, kind and thoughtful, and I liked talking with him. He will be well remembered 💙

  • William Busbea Posted April 29, 2023 11:21 AM

    He had been a big part of my life. My condolences to the family. He has his reward

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