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WMFD Chief passes

Voice Staff Report

A life of service to community and faith ended Monday, February 1, 2021 when Estel Jones, of the Wolf Creek Community, died at the VA Medical Center in Lexington, KY. Estel Jones, an ordained Baptist minister since 1973, was currently serving as the Pastor of the Rock Springs Baptist Church and the New Haven Baptist Church. Jones was also a charter member of the West McCreary Fire Department and was the Fire Chief at the time of his death.
WMFD was founded by a small group of volunteers in the early 1990’s after a tragic house fire claimed the lives of two children. Estel Jones was one of the original founding members and continued to serve with the other volunteers in the fire department, answering the calls for fires and search and rescue in the Wolf Creek community.

Stephen McKinney, McCreary County Emergency Management Director commented on Jones passing, “Estel Jones served his community his whole life, always giving back and giving to others. From being a pastor to firefighter, search and rescue member. The life of a first responder takes a toll on yourself and your family, but this is a calling in life. I am thankful for Estel and his friendship and brotherhood, best thing any old fireman can do is teach us younger firemen how to be an old fireman. Estill be strong and courageous, do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9). Thank you, my friend.”
Estel Jones was an integral part of the Wolf Creek Community and well known throughout the County. Cathy Dishman, a trustee and Fire Fighter # 605 of the West McCreary Fire Department said Estel Jones’ death was a tremendous loss, “Estel always guided us and helped us learn and always gave us a nickname. Mine was Cabbage Head due to my curly hair. If I ever got upset over something he would say Cabbage Head’s got her leafs ruffled. The name stuck with me so that to this day I have it written on my hard hat and back pack. My last call to a very dear friend, “Fire Chief, I truly don’t know how we will make it without you.”
Tony Miller, Whitley City Fire Department Chief said this of his friend’s passing, “Estel Jones was first and foremost a family man with strong religious and moral convictions. He brought a number of desirable qualities to his community and McCreary County as a whole. He was an integral part of the West McCreary Fire Department since its organization in 1992. He served in many rolls during his 29 years of service. He had served with the McCreary County Rescue Squad and was a Board Member of the McCreary County Rescue Affiliation at the time of his passing. I am proud to have worked with Estill on several occasions but was most proud to call him Friend.”

McCreary County Judge Executive, Jimmie W. Greene II made this statement on the passing of Estel Jones, “I was saddened to hear of his passing. Through his many years of serving his country and community, as a Veteran, a Pastor and with the West McCreary County Fire Department, Estel gave of his time freely and was truly a servant leader. He was a positive influence on the lives of many. His two passions were closely aligned. The Fire Department to possibly save a physical body and being a Pastor on a mission to save a soul. He will be missed but fondly remembered.”
McCreary Sheriff Randy Waters issued this statement on the life of Estel Jones. “Life is a gift from God. Our children, family, friends, neighbors and strangers are all gifts to be savored. Although some days may be full of hardship and sadness, each breath, heartbeat and thought illustrates the beautiful gift of life. Keep the positive memories alive and thank God for the blessings this is and what Estel Jones would want you to do. This was who he was as a friend and a brother.” Adding, “He was a great person.”

Estel Jones, age 72, is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ruth Jones, two daughters, one son, four grandchildren and an aunt. Funeral services were held today at Rock Springs Baptist Church. A complete obituary is on page 6A of The Voice.

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