On October 24, 1968, in Manchester, England, Thomas Harry Jones passed away after a long and serious illness.
The tragic death of Davy Jones’ beloved father came only days after Davy had flown back to Hollywood from a week’s vacation at home with Mr. Jones and Davy’s three older sisters Lynda, Hazel and Beryl. It was a heartbroken and deeply saddened David Jones who turned around and flew back to Manchester—to be with his father for the last time.
Time brings this kind of sorrow to each and every one of us in due course. Though Davy’s mind had been prepared for the inevitable, this did not lessen the shock to his heart and his soul. Davy’s love for his dad was well known, and Thomas Harry Jones’ deep love for his only son was a shining miracle that spoke often through the words that he wrote for the readers of 16 to read on these pages.
He was an alert, vivacious man filled with genuine warmth, understanding and love for all about him and he was particularly attached to “those wonderful American youngsters who took my son David to their hearts.”
In his last letter to the Editor of 16, he said in part. “Davy has always been a gentleman to everybody. He is helpful and kind, and he loves animals. Though he has a mind and purpose of his own, he is very generous and considerate. He writes me at least twice a week from far away Hollywood. He always sends messages to his sisters, friends, relatives and school pals. And he sends me all the latest clippings and photos regarding his work. All his family love him very much and are very glad of his success, but we also feel that he deserves this success, for no one has worked harder than Davy. Because of my health, I can’t come to your country and visit you and all of Davy’s other wonderful friends. But I am very grateful to you all for being so good to him and looking after him. Thanks a lot.”—Thomas Harry Jones.
This is the kind of man Davy was lucky enough to have for a dad. This is the man who will be missed in his sweet sleep, but his spirit will live on forever. This is the man to whom we now bow our heads and, borrowing a phrase from him, say “Thanks a lot.”