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Homer W. Jones Jr.

Pedro Saavedra provides this information from The Washington Post who published the obituary of a man who was once one of the most active players in the Washington DC area. It has been over 40 years since Pedro first played him.

Homer W. Jones Jr., 79, a retired statistician with the Internal Revenue Service and an amateur chess enthusiast, died Aug. 31 of respiratory failure at the Regents Park nursing home in Winter Park, Fla. He was a longtime resident of Alexandria, Virginia.

Mr. Jones was born in New York City and grew up in Westfield, N.J.

He enlisted in the Navy during World War II but was discharged after contracting polio. He spent a period of convalescence in Warm Springs, Ga.

He received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1947 and a master of science degree in 1950, both from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. He received a master's degree in business administration from American University in 1959 and a master's degree in statistics from GW University in 1965.

From 1947 to 1951, he worked as a cost estimator for the company then known as Esso Research and Engineering in Linden, N.J. He joined the IRS in 1959 and retired in 1988 as a statistician with the agency's Statistics of Income Division. He was the senior mathematical statistician for the corporate program.

Mr. Jones was an early member of the Washington Chess Divan, for many years the city's premier chess club, and served for several years as executive director, treasurer and newsletter editor of the D.C. Chess League. He also was one of the first national tournament directors in the Washington area.

He enjoyed playing speed chess and conducting simultaneous chess exhibitions, sometimes playing as many as 50 people at a time. He consistently was ranked as an "expert" player and achieved a "master" ranking by the U.S. Chess Federation.

A longtime member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, he served as treasurer, deacon and elder. He also was a recipient, along with his wife, of the 1995 Jefferson Award from the Alexandria Republican Party, and he was an honorary member of the Commonwealth Republican Women's Club.

His wife, Shirley D. Jones, died in 2003.

He is survived by two daughters, Laura S. Williams of Winter Park, FL, and Linda M. Jones of Forest Falls, CA; and two granddaughters Katelyn Feeney, and Grace Jones of Winter Park, FL.