Ted Jones: A True Community Leader
Meet our first Featured Community Member, Ted Jones of West Paris, nominated by Pat Verrill of Harvest Moon Produce.
Finding his Way Home
Ted Jones was born in Ritchfield Connecticut on October 18, 1937. He grew up, though, on a dairy farm in Lewisboro, New York. “My father and my grandfather,” says Ted, “they were farmers.” Ted was involved with the family farm until they sold it in the 60s. He later relocated to New Hampshire.
In ’77, Ted’s marriage of about 10 years ended. “I was 45 years old and had to start all over again,” says Ted. He credits his faith in God with getting him through it. “Everything I have today, I thank him for,” he says.
In 1981, a building job brought Ted to Maine. “I came to do one job,” he says, “and I just stayed there.” Ted married his wife Betty, from North Paris, in 1988. They each have 3 children, giving them a family of 6.
“Everything fit right,” says Ted. “We were kind of meant to be together. Fate brought us together. Love brought us together,” he pauses. “Maybe you could even go so far as to say that God brought us together.”
Ted now views Maine as home. He even owns a plot in Wayside Cemetery. “So I’ll be here forever,” says Ted, laughing.
A True Community Leader
Ted loves all parts of living in a small New England town. He enjoys the slow pace (it reminds him of his childhood), the people, and the history. His love of history and his skill with building has helped him get some local homes onto the National Historic Register. These homes include The Warren House, The West Paris Library, and The Historical Society Building in West Paris.
In addition Ted, his wife, and his brother-in-law Harlan Abbott were all instrumental in reviving the West Paris Old Home Days years ago. Ted was also the Building Chairman for the West Paris Library, managing, after 20 years of hard work, to help triple the library’s size with a new addition. Ted also received the Community Award from the West Paris Grange and was made the Grand Marshal for the Old Home Days. He’s currently active in The West Paris Historical Society. “I guess you could say I’m a history buff,” he laughs.
Ted really shines, though, when he talks about the people of West Paris. In fact, he has an easier time talking about others than about himself. For example, he loves talking about his nominator, Pat Verrill. “She’s a good girl,” he says. “I look at her as more of a daughter.” Pat has her own opinion about Ted. “He is a true community leader,” she says.
Ted’s love for local people especially comes out in his interaction with youth. He drives the sports bus for SAD 17, a position he’s held for 16 years. “That’s what life is about,” he says. “It’s children. You spend a life raising and educating them. My father did it for me, and we did it for the next generation.”
And may the generations Ted has touched impart some of his wisdom onto the next.
Know someone who you think should be honored for their work in the community? Write Karley at email@example.com with the name and a description of why your friend should be honored.