Search form

Gareth Hubert Stanley Jones (1924 - 1997)

Gareth Jones died on Thursday the 13th of March 1997.

A learned, well-rounded scholar; a man of many talents which he chose to keep hidden from the world; a quiet, encouraging friend to many whom he helped along life's way. By way of example, during his 60 years associated with the Boy Scout movement, he was scoutmaster to 15 troops, and many of his scouts, inspired by his example, went on to their own distinguished careers.

That is but a small testimonial to Gareth H. S. Jones, who in many respects might also have been known as a learned, quiet Welshman. Born August 28,1924 in Cardiff, Wales, he was destined to travel the world until his death March 13, 1997 at Penrhyndeudraith, Gwyndd, North Wales. Safaris, collecting rare books, guns, and nephrite jade were but a few of his passions, along with cratering, including its astronomical aspects. His ashes lie in his native land.

Jones received a BSc (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), P. Eng. MA (Univ. of Toronto), and PhD in geophysics (Univ. of Alberta). Many of his publications date from his years in the early 1960s on the staff of the Defense Research Establishment, Suffield, Ralston, Alberta, Canada, where he worked on shock and blast issues. Some of his papers can be found on the Internet and in Canadian and US government archives. One of his research projects dealt with the study of impact craters, which led to his becoming a consultant to several teams of astronauts prior to the first moon landing. In the 1970s and early 1980s his home organization was The Operational Research and Analysis Establishment, part of the Canadian Department of National Defense, and he was in-posted to Emergency Planning Canada (now Emergency Preparedness Canada). Other postings included defense research establishments in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

As a scientist, Gareth was known for being an iconoclast and a thorough thinker; as a human, his gentle humor, wise counsel, and deep respect for young minds are sorely missed. His life was fulfilled by science, wonder, and remaining childlike in his amazement at the functions of the physical universe. His final remark was, "I know the arrow of time points in the direction of entropy, but as a Celt, sometimes I wonder otherwise."

Photo (available in PDF copy referenced below) courtesy of Brian Ashwick

Affiliations: 

Canadian Department of National Defense

Obituary Written By: 
Brian Ashwick (Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada)
BAAS: BAAS, 2000, 32, 1672
DOI: 
BAASOBIT2000017