Obituary: John O’Neal Jones, former editor of the Fulton Leader and Hickman Courier

Past President of the West Kentucky Press Association

John O’Neal Jones, age 64, of Hendersonville, TN and formerly of South Fulton, TN died peacefully at home on Friday, January 8, 2021.

He was born on October 31, 1956 in Fulton, KY.

He will be deeply missed by his wife, Karen Taylor Jones, their two children, Melissa Neal Jones of Denver, CO and Allison Taylor Smolen and Allison’s husband, Brent Joel Smolen of Nashville, TN, who John thought of as the son he never had.

John resided in South Fulton, TN for most of his life, moving to Hendersonville, TN in his 60’s to be nearer to his children. John graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in English. John honed his journalistic abilities
to become editor of the Fulton Leader, Weakley County Press, and Hickman Courier.

John was President of the Western Kentucky Press Association (WKPA), and President and founding member of the Hickman, KY Rotary Club. He made few enemies, and garnered many friends during his career as a journalist and was very proud of the fairness he presented while covering local news and community events. John was also a playwright, writing several plays which were performed at the University of Tennessee at Martin and at a community theatre in Memphis, TN.

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