Article by Valerie Macdonald

A retired Cramahe electrician, who was both a naturalist and history buff, died last month in hospital surrounded by his family.

Elwood Max Jones passed away on Dec. 12, 2017, in Northumberland Hills Hospital. A celebration of his life will take place Saturday, Jan. 13 at the MacCoubrey Funeral Home in downtown Cobourg.

“He had a love of history and heritage,” Cramahe Mayor Marc Coombs recalled in an interview with the News Now Network.

The mayor said he first met Jones in 1998 when he joined the Red Cloud Cemetery Board. Since both were electricians, they talked about the Castleton electric business that Jones started in 1949. Jones was involved in wiring farms in rural areas and “he was sort on the frontier” of that power expansion, Coomb said.

Jones was also very into bluebirds and nesting boxes, and dedicated much of his retirement years to this, Coombs said.

Jones was born on Jones Farm on Jones Road about three kilometres east of Castleton and lived all his life in this areas, said daughter Sharon Dodds.

She said her dad moved to Castleton and lived there from 1945 to 2016 when he then resided in the Cobourg Retirement Residence. His passion focused bluebirds in his later years.

“From the time he retired in 1985 until he went into the Cobourg Retirement Residence he monitored up to 100 bluebird boxes in the Castleton area,” Dodds said.

The nests are currently being maintained by Shelley and Matthew King, and son Nathan, she added.

Her dad was a member of the Castleton Cemetery Board for over 40 years and president of that voluntary board for about half that time said Dodds who is board secretary as well as for the Red Cloud Cemetery Board. The father/daughter pair sat together on these boards.

The Red Cloud Cemetery contains remnants of Tallgrass Prairie vegetation and its preservation was an important part of the work done by Jones while on the board, Coombs said.

In a completely different project direction, Dodds said Jones helped author Grace Barker research a real-life robbery in Havelock in 1961 when the money was never recovered and which Barker turned into the book, The Bad Luck Bank Robbers. It was subsequently turned into a play and performed at the Fourth Line Theatre near Millbrook.

According to the notice posted online at, there will be a light lunch as part of the celebration of Jones’ life taking place from noon to 3 p.m. next Saturday.

Those wishing to make In Memory donations may consider Castleton Cemetery, Castleton United Church or Cobourg Retirement Residence.” Condolences received at the notice also states.

There are a large number of Jones in the Castleton area, McCoombs said. The funeral home website lists those relatives as Jones’ late wife, Betty M. (Shred) Jones (deceased 1985), and son Alvin (Ann) and daughter, Sharon (Bill) Dodds.

Elwood was also described in that same notice as the “cherished grandfather of Derek Jones (Lonni Taylor), Jeff (Sue) Dodds, Jeremy (Julie) Dodds and the late Michelle (Evan) Taylor. Step-grandfather to Chris (Cindy) Wilson and Kim Johnston (Mark Fournier) Devoted great-grandfather to Sabrina Jones (Josh Fairman), Colton Jones (Raven Hilts), Carson Dodds, Maya Dodds, Lee Dodds and Finn Dodds. Step-great-grandfather of Raven, Lincoln, Stuart, Sara, Amanda, Tylor, Vanessa, Hayley, Jennifer and Tyson.

Elwood was able to see and hold his great-great-granddaughters, Madeleine Fairman and Quinn Jones. Son of the late Clare and Maud (Tuck) Jones. Predeceased by all of his brothers Charlie, Alan (Ruby), Harry (Myrtle), Lyle (surviving wife Audrey), Ralph (Reta) and infant brother, Joe. Elwood will be missed by Gail Jones (mother of Sabrina & Colton), Theresa Douglas (mother of Carson & Maya), Glenna Mintha (mother of Derek & the late Michelle), sister-in-law Emma Bragg, many nieces, nephews and friends.”

A spring interment is planned at the Castleton Cemetery.