The University Record, December 6, 1999 Kenneth Lester Jones

Kenneth L. Jones, professor emeritus of botany, died Nov. 14 at the Chelsea Retirement Center at age 93.

Jones was born Dec. 3, 1905 in Keweenaw Bay and moved to Flint in 1919.

Active in scouting as a boy, he eventually became a scout master. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1924.

In 1929, Jones married Wilma Gertrude Oppenorn. She preceded him in death.

Jones received his master’s degree and doctorate from the U-M, where he stayed on as a member of the faculty, continuing to teach for 58 years. He began by teaching Botany I, then taking on courses in soil microbiology and genetics. He discovered a microorganism that would produce vitamin B-12 in abundance, an organism that became the commercial source for vitamin B-12.

Jones became chair of the department, retaining the position for 13 years, and was the author of three books: Botanical Essays, Plants in Our Lives and The Harley Harris Bartlett Diaries. He taught Great Books, and as professor emeritus presented a seminar at the U-M on the lives of scientists.

Jones also taught in the T.L.C. program at Angell School and tutored at Community High School.

A lover of classical music, literature and art, Jones was a juror for organ students at the School of Music.

He was a charter member of the Charles Wesley Club and regularly attended the West Side Methodist Church and the Congregational Church.

He is survived by a son, Roland Leo Jones of Denver, Colo.; a daughter, Hannah Chamberlin of Muscatine, Iowa; three grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimers Association, P.O. Box 1713, Ann Arbor MI 48106.

Submitted by the family


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.