A reception was held Friday in his honor at the bank, and he was joined by colleagues, customers, friends and family. His wife, Judy Jones; mother, Ida Mae Jones; sons, Wes and Phillip Jones, and grandson, Bryson Carter, shared in the celebration of Jones' distinguished career in banking.
In his more than 40 years in the banking business, Jones has spent all but two years with the Bank of Winona. He worked for two years at the Bank of Water Valley in the Coffeeville office before joining the bank as a teller in 1972 and moving through the ranks. He was named bank president in 1992.
"I started out in the note window with Mrs. [Bootsie] Dulin," Jones said. "She took me under her wing and kind of showed me the ropes when I got my start."
Jones served under two bank presidents - Aubrey Boone and David Brower - before moving into the corner office.
"I have had a really, really nice career [at Bank of Winona]," Jones said. "The bank has been really good to me. It is a really good place to work."
Jones said he has second-guessed his retirement many times, mainly because of his love for the Bank of Winona family. Although he will remain on the bank's board of directors, he said he will miss the day-to-day.
"I am going to miss the people I work with," Jones said. "I'm already yo-yoing some. How do you not miss those you see more than your own family? I will have my blue moments when I think of not seeing the people I have seen every day, but I will drop in and make my rounds."
Jones said he will also miss the joys of banking.
"If banking were just about helping people, I can't see anything more rewarding than seeing [people's] dreams come true," he said. "You get attached to the customers. 'Dealing with Customers 101' is part of the fun of banking. You make a lot of friends and relationships that will forever be with you."
Since the 2008 economic downturn, banking regulations and laws have changed and continue to evolve each year. Jones said the constant changes in the banking landscape were part of the reason he chose to retire.
"With the new rules and laws coming into play, I don't know if I want to learn all of that," Jones said. "It is time for me to move on and let some of these young people do that. I would also like to retire when I still have my health to enjoy my retirement."
With free time on his hands, Jones said he plans to spend time with his grandchildren and in the great outdoors.
"I have lots of grandchildren now, and I like to hunt and fish," Jones said. "I might even take up golf again. I also have a place in the country where I like to drive my tractor around."
He laughed that his wife, Judy, had plenty of things lined up to keep him busy around the house, and there will also be time to do the things they both enjoy.
"We both love music, and we love to go to concerts," Jones said. "We will be doing quite of bit of that."
He also said he hoped to spend some time volunteering in the community.
"I don't want to be bored," Jones said.
Incoming bank president Eddie Hammond said Jones has been invaluable to the Bank of Winona.
"He has really been dedicated to the bank," Hammond said. "He was a good president, and the bank has been very successful under him."
Hammond said Jones has taught him some very valuable lessons over the years, and he has always admired his business style.
"He is easy-going," Hammond said. "He really thinks something through before giving an answer. He was a good boss. [During the transition] he told, 'Do what makes you comfortable. I can't tell you what that is, but do what makes you comfortable."