LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Longtime Texas legislator Delwin Jones died Wednesday. He was 94.
His memorial service was held at Oakwood Methodist on 58th Street on Saturday morning. He will be buried in Texas State Cemetery in Austin. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Caprock American Business Club.
Jones served District 83 in the Texas legislature 30 years, initially serving as a Democrat from 1964 to 1972, then coming back as a Republican from 1989 to 2011.
A lifetime Lubbock resident, Jones earned his living from farming and investments. He held a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University. He married Reta A. Jones (July 16, 1923 - March 20, 2014), shortly after the end of his service in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. The two met in Lubbock's only bowling alley at the time. Mrs. Jones was heavily involved in Habitat for Humanity in Lubbock.
During his time in the legislature, Jones served as Vice Chairman of the Corrections Committee and a member of the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee.
He authored legislation creating a dozens of critical organizations across West Texas, including:
Texas Tech Medical School, Lubbock County Hospital District, 137th District Court, Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney's Office, Buffalo Lakes Water District, Texas Tech Board of Regents (formerly Board of Directors), Texas Tech University name change (from Texas Technological College), Texas Agricultural Product copyright for Texas products, establishment of egg standards for Texas, establishment of fruit standards for Texas, seed breeders rights legislation giving breeders protection for developing new varieties of crops
Jones secured the authority and funding to build the Lubbock State School and secured funding for the creation of the Texas Tech Law School.
He co-authored legislation establishing Texas ADA standards that national ADA standards and saved millions of dollars for the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport and other public buildings.
He authored a Constitutional Amendment establishing special Farm Value for farm land annexed into cities and another Constitutional Amendment authorizing "check-off" assessments to assist agriculture.
He secured approval and funding for the original Boll Weevil Eradication efforts and co-authored legislation establishing the present Boll Weevil Eradication Program.
He secured funding for the construction and operation of the Texas Tech Museum and authored legislation to simplify taxing propane use in farm pickups.
He chaired or co-chaired Redistricting in 1971, 1991, and 2001 and established a long history of protecting rural interests.
Jones was a Lubbock High Graduate, Texas Tech University Graduate (1949), Air Force Veteran of World War II (1942-1945), Married to wife Reta with two grown children, Melodie and Lanny, Member of Oakwood United Methodist Church, Charter Member of Texas Tech Century Club, Member of Texas Tech Alumni Association, Lubbock Christian University supporter, Lubbock Farmer and businessman since 1946, Charter Member of High Plain Research Foundation, Charter Member and organizer of Plains Cotton Growers Association, Charter Member and organizer of High Plains Underground Water District, Past President, Lubbock County Farm Bureau, Past President, Caprock American Business Club, Member of Lubbock Lions Club, Member of Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, Morton Chamber, Levelland Chamber, Seagraves Chamber, Seminole Chamber and Denver City Chamber, Member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Charter supporter of Ports-to Plains
He received dozens of awards during his life, including:
Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture, Outstanding Agriculturalist of 2001, Outstanding Alumni of Texas Tech University, Outstanding Legislator of 1993 by Texas House and Senate, Outstanding Legislator Recognition by Lubbock County Bar Association, Recognized for "interest and dedication to improving water rights laws" by the Texas Water Rights Commission, "Friend of Education Award" (March 5, 2004) by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, "Friend of Education Award" by the Lubbock Classroom Teachers Association...2004, Named " Honorary Citizen" of City of West Lake, Texas, for legislative actions, 2005, Honored by Seminole Independent School District for Outstanding Representation of the Children of Texas Public Schools, 2005, "Distinguished Alumnus in Accounting" by Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University, 2004
Honorary Citizenship by City of Seminole, Texas, Seminole Independent School District...Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Education, Honorary Citizenship by City of West Lake Hills, Honorary Citizenship by Denver City, Texas, La Causa Award by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, Recognition for Outstanding Legislative Service to West Texas by Morton Independent School District, Morton, Texas, Key to the City bye Loveland, Texas, Appreciation Award by Plains Independent School District, Plains, Texas, Appreciation Award by Cochran County Commissioners Court "in thanks for his service to rural Texas, especially in the area of education", Elected Official of the Year Award by the Lubbock Branch of the National Association of Social Workers, Good Scout Award by the South Plains Boy Scout Council
Texas Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan, who served in Austin alongside Delwin Jones, spoke about the legacy he leaves behind.
"He was actually the perfect West Texas representative," Duncan said. "He understood the language, he understood the culture out here, and he understood the priorities."
"If you look at Texas Tech, I think he was as proud as anything of his accomplishments for Texas Tech University," Duncan said. "Carrying the legislation for the medical school and negotiating the funding for the law school were significant milestones for this university and Delwin Jones played a major role. You have to look at that history and understand how important he was at that time."
State Representative Dustin Burrows released this statement on Wednesday afternoon:
Sen. Charles Perry issued this statement on Wednesday afternoon:
KCBD spoke with former Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance on Wednesday night:
Former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Pete Laney praised Jones on Wednesday:
Patty Vannoy, AMBUCS Past National President 2013-14, issued this statement on Wednesday night: