The CNMI business community is mourning the passing of Margaret Ann Jones, the wife of Triple J Enterprises, Inc. CEO and chair Robert H. Jones, who succumbed to an undisclosed illness last Friday (Thursday in the U.S. mainland) in North Carolina. She was 81 years old.
Triple J. announced in a short statement that the Jones matriarch “passed away peacefully” last weekend and that her husband, Robert, her daughter, Julie Jones Murrell, and her sons, Jeff Jones and Jay Jones, were by her side. Memorial services will be held in North Carolina and funeral services in Guam will be announced at a later date.
The statement said the Jones family is asking for privacy at this time and would “love and prayers” during this difficult time.
When sought for comments via social media, Triple J Saipan vice president of finance and administration Michael Sablan said Mrs. Jones’ passing is a sad day for the Triple J family.
“She was such a kind-hearted person, always so thoughtful, and an inspiration to all who knew her. We will all miss her and we pray for the Jones family in this very difficult time,” he said.
The Saipan Chamber of Commerce also extended its heartfelt condolences.
“The Jones family have been involved in the community for so many years. The Triple J Group of Companies have been members of the Chamber. The Jones family has given in so many ways to our business community through continued investments, which have created many jobs for our people. They have also contributed generously to many organizations and during the Super Typhoon Yutu recovery. As a community, we mourn the loss of Mrs. Jones and are grateful for her passion in giving back to the community. We offer prayers for the Jones family during this time,” said Chamber president Velma M. Palacios in an email to Saipan Tribune.
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) and his wife, Andrea, also extended their condolences.
“Andrea and I extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to Mr. Robert Jones and to his children upon the untimely passing of Margaret, his wife, and the mother of their children. We shall keep Mrs. Jones in our prayers and the entire Jones family in our thoughts during this most difficult time in their life,” the Sablans said in email to the Saipan Tribune.
Former lawmaker Cinta Kaipat, who is a close family friend, shared photos of the deceased in a social media message to Jay Jones, taken from the soft opening of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on Saipan on June 26, 2016.
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Mrs. Margaret Jones, beautiful wife of my friend Bob Jones. Brother Jay, please extend my deepest condolences to your Dad and the rest of your lovely family. These pictures were taken at the soft opening of your Bubba Gump restaurant about three years ago, which my sister and co-film collaborator Koohan Paik-Mander and I attended. Your mom was her usual beautiful and radiant self and it was great to see her and your Dad and siblings as well. I had no idea that that would be the last time I would see her again. May she rest in peace. I will remember her and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you all lots of love and hugs from Saipan,” it read.
Margaret Ann Jones was a Lifetime Achiever honoree of the Guam Business Magazine last year.
A press release from the publication that honored her noted that she was a treasurer of Triple J Enterprises Inc., a role she has held since 1984. After coming to Guam 58 years ago from Raleigh, N.C., Jones began her working life in Guam in 1968 at the Marianas Travel Agency—the first travel agency in Guam. She would also work with Eileen Kershaw, a Guam fine jewelry and gift shop from 1973, particularly involved with its inventory and buying, before joining Pan American Airlines in 1975 as a special sales representative, where she would stay until 1991, when it was sold.
She served as a charter member in 1965 of the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association—or the Pink Ladies as they are known. She was also a past president of the organization that has donated millions of dollars in equipment and other necessities for the hospital. Outside of Triple J’s community support, other organizations that Jones had personally supported through the years include the Guam Women’s Club, the Miss Guam Universe Pageant, St. John’s School as a member of the board and Harvest Baptist Church.