When Ronald Jones drove a golf ball off the tee, there was a tremendous sound that people could not ignore.
The shot was straight, true and impressive.
Family and friends said his career as a father, teacher, coach and administrator was exactly the same.
Jones died Tuesday, Dec. 21 at St. Anthony's Hospital and was buried at Resurrection Cemetery on Tuesday following a funeral service at Kutis South County Chapel. He was 70.
Jones devoted his career to the field of education, which included 30 years at Mehlville Senior High School where he served more than a decade as its principal.
Ed Chard, a former teacher at Mehlville who would become Oakville High School principal called Jones, "the most intelligent educator I've ever met."
"What made Ron Jones unique was his desire to understand and work with individual students," Chard said. "He had the ability to help students break down their concerns so that they could come up with solutions and mature in the learning process."
Jones joined the Mehlville staff in 1966 as a social studies teacher and a ninth grade basketball coach. He would later become head of the school's physical education department and coach golf and boys' gymnastics. His 1974 gymnastics team won the Missouri state title.
In 1978, Jones was named assistant principal and was promoted to principal in 1985. Upon his retirement in 1996, he was the longest tenured principal in the school's history.
The school and district honored Jones in 1997 by renaming its gym the Ronald L. Jones Gymnasium. Its memorial plaque reads "Ronald L. Jones, Dedicated to Students."
Born in Logansport, IN, on July 9, 1940, Jones graduated from Logansport High School where he excelled at basketball, football and track. He was named to the All-Conference basketball team in both 1957 and 1958, and also led the conference in scoring in 1957.
After spending two years at Fountain Valley School, a prep school for the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, Jones was appointed to the Air Force Academy. He played for the basketball and track teams and, in 1960, he was named Rocky Mountain Conference 'Sophomore to Watch' in basketball.
In 1961, Jones accompanied his future bride, Nancy Jane Erbs, to St. Louis. She had moved back to St. Louis after graduating from Loretto Heights College in Colorado.
Jones then attended Washington University, where he also played basketball and was named third team All American in 1963 and 1964.
After marrying Erbs in 1963, Jones became a graduate assistant, assistant basketball coach and assistant trainer for Washington University, where he received his Masters Degree in Education. He later became a faculty member, teaching physical education.
"My father was a true leader," said Kevin Jones of Manchester, one of Jones' surviving sons.
"Whether it was being captain of the basketball team, head of the physical education department, coach, principal, our family or on the golf course, he was the leader."
Along with Kevin and his wife Nancy, Jones is also survived by his eldest son Brian, who resides in Oakville.