Remembering Don Jones of Forging Resources Group
On December 2nd we lost one of our forging industry icons, Don Jones, President of Forge Resources Group in DeKalb, Illinois. Don was 90, and just recently had his 90th birthday celebration (Sept. 29th) with his immediate family and also his work family.
When I learned that I would be the President and CEO of the Forging Industry Association (FIA), Don’s son Jeff was our current board chair and also acting President and CEO. One of my first visits in November 2017 was with Jeff and Don at their DeKalb operations. Don brought joy and smiles, and jokes - pretty much whenever I was with him. During my first Midwest Meeting of Members in January 2018, I was nervous – prepping for my presentation and first introduction to the membership – and not eating. Don noticed and afterward said he was running out to buy me a hamburger! You guys know me! I could take a pass on the hamburgers for a while! But this became a little friendly joke with Don and me – him asking me here and there if I needed a hamburger.
Many of you know Don worked hard at business and life. As a salesman, he helped build the book of business at Kropp Forge, Scott Forge (25 years), and McWilliams Forge before starting his own business. Don also served as an FIA Board Director from 2006-2009. When not working or practicing his faith, Don loved to fish and travel. He also loved sports, playing cards, playing table games, and working on puzzles. He was a former Sunday school teacher as well.
Rest in peace Don. We are grateful to have known you and for your contribution to the forging industry as a whole.
"I truly loved Don Jones like many in the forging & steel industry. His passion for his company and the forging industry was second to none! But he also embraced ALL the people in the industry also.
You know the old saying “I never heard he/she say a negative thing about any person or company,” that was Don Jones!
He truly made his family, company & the forging industry a better place!
In closing, I also appreciated the time he spent listening to SBQ steel sales people like myself, as it has become a lost art with many buyers/owners today! Rest in peace Don!"
- Mark Candy, Eaton Steel
"I knew Don for over 30 years. He was always a joy to be with.
One thing I would share- he would NEVER let me pay for lunch! FRG is a good customer of ours, and I WANTED to pay, but it was almost an impossibility! (I’m glad to say that finally, once before COVID hit, we were able to get out for lunch, AND I PAID!!).
As a believer myself, Don was an excellent example to me to how conduct myself on a daily basis. I will miss him."
- John Musser, Interpower
"It was very disappointing to learn that Don Jones had passed away. My son, Bill shared the email he received with me. I have known Don for the past 20 years & during that 20 year period could see that second to the love of his family, his job was a very important part of his life. That element of sincerity that he had for his family and the forging industry was evident in his position as a board member. Don & I would talk at meetings and he was always very excited about new things happening in the industry, and was happy to be able to share his talents. Don will be greatly missed by our association."
- William E. Hoban, Cleveland Hardware & Forging Co
James R. Warren
President & CEO
Forging Industry Association