Louis Laird Jones, Sr., 86 years old, of Kasaan, Alaska, passed away surrounded by family in Ketchikan on November 22, 2023. Louis, also known as “Louie,” “Poppy,” and later known as “Cha” by his grand and great-grandchildren, was born on October 26, 1937.
His boarding school experiences include attending grade school at Haines House, attending Chemawa Indian School, Mt. Edgecumbe High School, and Sheldon Jackson school. After high school at Mt Edgecumbe, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the 101st Airborne Division. After proudly serving our country, he attended Laney College in Oakland, CA, from 1962-65, where he studied diesel mechanics.
In his early years, Louie enjoyed a proud heritage that included boat building with his father and grandfather in Kasaan, commercial purse seining, and halibut fishing on the boat “Invictus” his father and family built. He also loved to hunt and subsistence harvesting and fish. For most of his life, the waters in Southeast Alaska kept drawing Louie back. He especially enjoyed sharing those experiences with his children and grandchildren.
The event that would shape the rest of his life happened while king crab fishing in Kodiak, Alaska. There he met the woman who would become his lovely bride, Lathalia “Paige”. Their wedding was on June 18, 1966, in his parents living room in Ketchikan. Louie and Paige made their home in Seattle where he began working on Foss Tugboats which set the stage for him to join the Alaska Marine Highway and spent the rest of his professional marine career. He retired as the first Alaska Native Chief Engineer. Through those travels and connections, he is respected far and wide for his engineering experience.
Throughout the years, he was also a noted Haida carver. Most of his art is proudly showcased by his family. He carved Kavilco’s second Watchman gavel in 2015. It was carved from alder wood with a walking stick under his chin and his watchful eyes made of abalone shell.
From 1979 Louie served on the Kavilco Board of Directors and was Kavilco’s President from 2014 until the time of his passing. Louis was a Director during major economic events such as the timber sale to ITT Rayonier for $25 million, recessions, the operating loss to Drexel, Burnham and Lambert, Group Inc., the Stock market crash of ‘87 and 2000, the 2008 collapse of the housing bubble and President during Covid19.
Louis said it was an honor to be President of Kavilco and his last official action for Kavilco was presiding over Kavilco’s annual meeting and dinner held in Ketchikan on November 21, 2023 acknowledging Kavilco’s 50th Anniversary.
Louie enjoyed spending time with people he cared about. He was an avid Seahawks fan and especially enjoyed attending many football games with his sons and their families. He also enjoyed playing cards.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife “Paige” Jones. They were married 47 years. He had many amazing accomplishments in his life. His pride and joy were the dynamic family they raised together, watching their sons raise their families, and being proud of their many accomplishments.
Louie valued family the most. He is survived by his four sons and their wives, who he considered daughters. He had ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Survivors include:
- Louie and Angie Jones Jr. and their two children, Diesel and Traijen.
- Michael Allen Jones, his son and daughter-in-law Michael and Kimberlyn, with their daughter (great-grandchild) Lathalia.
- Randell and Gina Jones and their three children, Rayna, Victoria, and Raymond. Rayna and Austin also provided three more great-grandchildren: Asher, Blair, and Daniel.
- Henry and Crystal Jones and their four children, Peyton, Drake, Harper, and Kinsley Paige.
- Siblings Ramona Hamar, Diane (George) Demmert, nieces, nephews, and many honored extended family members.
Louie’s legacy will continue to shape future generations.