George Young Jones died recently of cardiac failure in Austin, Texas. He was 83.
Jones was well known by many industry veterans for his long tenure and accomplishments as an executive for such companies as the former Continental Baking Co. and American Bakeries. In later years he was a consultant and executive for Perfection Bakeries, now known as Aunt Millie’s Bakeries, in Fort Wayne, Ind.
J. Bohn Popp, vice president of marketing at Aunt Millie’s Bakeries, says Jones was very instrumental in the forming and developing of the Aunt Millie’s brand back in the early ‘90s. Specifically, Jones ran the sales and marketing for Perfection Bakeries from 1989 through 1992 and was a consultant through 2004. In 2002, he received JB Franke Founders Award, which has only been given to two people in Perfection Bakeries history.
Popp remembers Jones as a friend and former mentor.
“George had an absolute amazing energy level,” Popp recalls. “He could juggle several things at once, including projects, meetings, customer and supplier appointments … you name it.”
One time, he recalls, they left the McCormick Place in Chicago at the crack of dawn during the Food Marketing Institute show for a business meeting and Jones didn’t stop working until well after the sun had set.
“We picked up a customer in the early morning and drove him to our plant in Jackson, Mich., about three hours away for a bakery tour,” Popp says. “After an extensive tour and meeting, we drove back to Fort Wayne. It was well after 6 p.m. and possibly around 7 p.m. when we got back. George wanted to go to discuss the day with my father. He could have stayed there until 9 p.m. if dad had let him. It was always an organized chaos in and around his office. So many people around and things happening.”
Popp says the most important lesson that Jones taught him was “to enjoy every moment, good our bad.”
“George could always learn or teach something, regardless of the outcome,” Popp says. “He just kept going. I will miss him.”
According to his online obituary, George Jones is survived by his sister, Carol W. Fredericks; his sister-in-law, Estelle Jones; nieces, Helen and Teri Whitcraft, Kelly Shivertaker and husband Jim, Susan Whitlock; also nephews, George O. Jones II and wife Miyo, Haynes Drake and wife Karen and Jeff Hahn. George had nine great-nephews and great-nieces.