Long-time community pillar, former Hamblen County Commissioner and pharmacist C.L. “Bud” Jones Jr. has died. He was 92.
Jones came to Morristown in 1955 to become a partner in a local pharmacy. He would go on to own two pharmacies, multiple businesses and become a civic leader, serving on the county commission and as a leader of organizations such as the Rotary Club and the Youth Emergency Shelter.
“Bud was on county commission back when I was appointed trustee back in 1994. He was a man who really cared about Morristown and Hamblen County. He was always thinking, being visionary, not just reactionary. He was always looking ahead,” Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain said. “I’ve got a lot of respect and admiration for him and what he did for our community.”
Born in Memphis, in 1928, he was 8 months old when he was stricken with polio which affected his right leg. At the age of 9, Jones had surgery to help stabilize his affected leg and cut the growth plate to keep his legs close to the same length.
The family moved to Paris, Tenn. and Bud graduated from E.W. Grove High in 1946. He went to pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee at Martin, graduating in 1950. Jones first plied his trade in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Jones moved to Morristown despite knowing only one person in town and stayed his first few weeks at the Kingmeyer Hotel.
“I was raised in a town about the same size as Morristown,” Jones told Jim Claborn for the Tribune in 2009. “After moving here, I ate all my meals at the Little Dutch Restaurant. Medal of Honor recipient Calvin Ward would come in the store and Mayor Frank Davis would come to our lunch counter for a hot dog and a glass of milk. It was at the time that Enka was booming.”
Bud explained one of the main attractions of life at the drug store was when Sarah Bruce would come in for lunch.
“I would flirt with her,” he said, of Bruce who worked for a pair of lawyers in town. “Her parents had a farm out between Witt and Lowland. When we started dating, we’d often go out to the Bruce’s. She would drive my car home, then return to pick me up when I got off. Her Daddy’s name was Homer, and when I went to pick her up to get married, we saw him on the road on his tractor and pulled over. He told us: ‘Son, I ain’t got nothing against you. I just don’t go to weddings.’”
Bud married Sarah at the old Russellville Baptist Church in 1957. They would become the parents of Caroline and C.L “Buddy” Jones III.
Jones bought the Crescent Center Drug Store in the late 1980s and would later own the whole shopping center as well as the Morristown Pharmacy. All of which he sold to his son.
Jones was an active philanthropist. Serving as board chair for the Youth Emergency Shelter where he would often come down and sit to visit with the children, according to former YES Director Eddie Davis.
“He was quite a person,” Davis said. “He was just good people. He would do anything to help anybody in need.”
Jones was also an active Rotarian, taking part in the worldwide organization’s effort to eliminate polio from the face of the Earth.
“When a person is stricken with a disease like polio, it affects the whole family,” Jones told the Tribune in advance of World Polio Day in 2009. “The whole family suffers emotionally and financially. It will be a happy day when this disease is wiped off the face of the Earth. It’s coming. They wiped out small pox and they will wipe this out, too.”
See Tuesday’s edition of the Citizen Tribune for more.