Madison S. Jones, III, 82, passed away on April 22, 2015, Earth Day — particularly appropriate given his love of animals, plants and flowers and environmental issues. Madison suffered a massive heart attack in mid-January, but managed to grace his family and friends with his warm charm and wit for another four months before his passing.
Madison was born March 20, 1933 to Muriel and Madison Jones of New York City. The elder Mr. Jones was the first Commissioner of Human Rights in New York City, followed by a term with the Johnson Administration. Mr. Jones was also one of the founders of the NAACP.
Madison was educated at Fieldston School and New York University. He received his pilot’s license in 1948 at the age of 15 and subsequently went on to get his amphibious rating and flew float planes in and out of the Hudson River for fun. During one college summer he worked for the U.S. Department of Weather Bureau.
The bureau, along with the Danes in the land of Eskimos, opened Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. This experience with exposure to other cultures had an enormous impact on his commitment to environmental issues in general and climate change in particular. In 1963 he was asked by the U.S. government to go, along with his wife Judith and young daughter Hilary, to Tunisia to assist setting up the first U.S. Peace Corps in that country. Later he was asked to be Director of the Peace Corps in Morocco. These years helped form the basis for his interest in people and cultures around the world.
He finished his career at Metropolitan Life and went on to do consultant work in the insurance field in New York as well as his new home in Wilton, Conn. Additionally, he served on several boards, Weir Farm in Wilton being the one closest to his heart. He and his wife Judith supported many local organizations including Ambler Farm in Wilton.
Madison was predeceased by his daughter Hilary Jones and is survived by his wife of 64 years, Judith Jones. A memorial in Madison’s honor will be held in June.