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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 16, 2018

Demons remember their No. 1 fan, Ed Jones

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL | Jul 17, 2018
“Fast Eddy" Jones is known by many throughout Washington as the “No. 1 Demon fan.”

A Washington Demon banner hangs over the Washington soccer and softball fields in honor of the passing of the man who will forever be known as the Washington Demons No. 1 fan.

Coach Steve Roth, who hung the banner, remembers his friend Ed “Fast Eddy” Jones with a smile. “He always took care of us in a smiling Demon way,” Roth said. “We tried to take care of him in the same way whenever he had an issue. He was a special person and a special Demon fan.”

Roth first met Jones 43 years ago when he first moved to town. Over the years, the two developed a friendship, especially when Roth became a coach for Washington.

Roth said Jones’ love of sports ran deep, but it was his love for the community that connected him with people. There were few in Demons athletics that didn’t know Jones, Roth said. “He was there like clockwork,” Roth said of Jones’ attendance to athletic events.

Jones would often ride his bike to games, but rarely had to go home alone in the dark. After the game, coaches or players would put Jones’ bike in the bed of their truck and take him home.

Jones, 70, was pronounced dead Wednesday, July 11, in his home. Jones’ roommate, Clarence Pedersen, faces first-degree murder charges in Jones’ death.

Sports was also the catalyst to introduce Jones’ to Brent Van Wheelden, Washington’s athletic director. Van Wheelden recalled sharing a golf cart with Jones as the two would put the finishing touches on the fields before games. This was not uncommon as Jones would regularly help out before and after games. During basketball season, Jones would sweep the floors and get score sheets ready. “He would always have Washington written in but he would always want me to write in the opponent’s name.”

Just this past Tuesday, Jones was getting excited about football season. “Van Weelden saw Jones Tuesday and said Jones was eager for football season this year,” said Washington High School principal Erik Buchholz, who remembers Jones’ enthausiam from he was a football player at the high school. “He always knew how to put a smile on everybody’s face,” Buchholz said. “Every time I saw him he would come up to me and say, ‘The Demons are going to win tonight. I gave them their pep talk.’”

The Demon banner also will hang over Case Field in Jones’ honor.

Jones was also active in the community and was a fixture at the farmers market. He especially enjoyed it when music was being performed.

“He liked the people, he liked the crowds and he liked the music,” market master Bob Shepherd said. “He touched a lot of people’s lives. He walked to his own music, but he was a great guy.”

Jones co-workers also remember his love of music. Many spoke of times when he would bring his guitar to work to sing “Happy Birthday” for a co-worker or just to play on a special occasion. Co-worker Rick Engle remembers Jones’ friendliness and how, even when he was tired during the early morning shifts, he would always make time to talk to his co-workers and patrons. He also remembered Jones’ excitement to do deliveries with the other workers. “He was a pleasure to be around,” Engle said. “He loved to go on deliveries with us. He really liked when we had to deliver to the high school — he enjoyed going and seeing the kids. We would come back, he would eat a good breakfast, and off for the day he would go.”

“He had a big heart. He was nice to everybody and he didn’t know a stranger,” co-worker Dale Sparks said. “He was a good friend. He always smiled and was always happy-go-lucky.”

Co-workers said the year is just starting to come up on the time Jones would love. In addition to Demon sports, he also had a great love of the Washington County Fair and Camp REECE.

Mike Orris, a regular gate volunteer at the fair, said it had become a habit for him to buy Jones a season pass to the fair and ride tickets.

“He would come into my headquarters to tell me he was out of ride tickets,” Orris said with a laugh.

Funeral services for Jones are currently pending at the Jones & Eden Funeral Home.

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