Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jesse Jones - Semper Fi

I knew Jesse Jones for more than half of my life. We met when I was 23 years old and just moved to San Diego. He refereed my matches, coached my competitors and 25 years later when my children were competing, he was refereeing their matches and running national championships in which they competed.

He was the tournament director for the first junior nationals Ronda ever won - she was 12 years old.

If you never knew Jesse, you missed out. He was a gentleman, a marine, a successful businessman and loved his family. He was the kind of guy you'd like on your team and as a next door neighbor.

We people use the term, "Pillar of the Community", I think of Jesse, particularly when it comes to the judo community. Here is just a little bit to give you an idea of the kind of man and judoka he was.

For the past 45 years, Jesse Jones has:
  •  Served in various roles/officer for the Pacific Southwest Judo Association, a Yudanshakai under United States Judo Federation.
  • Served as Director of Operations for United States Judo, Inc. (USA Judo) from 1992 to 1996.
  • For the past twenty-five years he served as the commissioner of judo for the California State Games.  It is to be noted, that starting in 2015, the judo portion of the California States will be named the Jesse Jones Memorial Tournament.  In the words of Ms. Sandi Hill, Director of the California State Game “He is one person that we will never forget!”
He served in various roles in the following major judo events in the San Diego area:
1987 - Technical Official, International Military Sports Council (CISM)
            1987 – Technical Official, World Police-Fireman Games
            1990 – Tournament director for USA Judo Senior National
            2004 – Co-Tournament director of USA Judo Senior National
            Hosted several USJA Junior Nationals several times starting in 1987
1996 - Technical Officer at the 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta
            1991 – Chief Scorer for the 1991 US Olympic Festival (Judo) held in Los Angeles, CA.

            Taught judo, under the club name of UNIDOS, at Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, CA; Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA; Clairemont Boys Club, San Diego and many other locations.

            Participated in the 1968 All-Marine Judo Championships

Below, courtesy of Jerry Hays, are some words about his passing from judoka around the United States.

From Rene Zeelenberg, Ex USAF Judo Coach

Thanks for letting us know.  Many never met Jesse and I really don't know him that well but he was a fellow judoka.  I wish his family well, plz pass on our condolences from the Alamo Judo Family.

From Dr. Jack and Judy Hegenauer

  Thanks for notifying us about Jesse.  I’m really sorry about that.  Jesse was a fine man, and a tireless worker. 

From James Bregman, Bronze Medal in 1964 Olympic, Washington, DC

Sad to hear this news.  He made a major and prolonged contribution to American Judo.

From Judo Gregg

  He was the one and only one that helped me get my Dojo started.  He set up the business deal for me on my first purchase of tatami mats too.   Great guy.   A real Sensei.

From George Membrilla

First, we have lost a very important man in the sport of American Judo.
I send my condolence and prayers to his family.
May Jesse rest in peace.

From:  Robinson Family, Penascola, FL

So sorry to hear of Jesse's passing. The ranks are thinning. God bless you all.

Last, but not least, from his fellow Marine

From E L Beshimentob and Maisha Mayfield (North Carolina)

Please convey our condolences directly to Jesse Jones' Family from The Mayfields. He is already missed.

Semper Fi

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