Don Jones, former director of the Henderson County Education Foundation, has died

Dr. Don Jones, former director of the Henderson County Education Foundation, has died.

The Kiwanis Club of Hendersonville, of which Jones had been a member for decades, announced his passing at its meeting on Wednesday, August 24.

WHKP Vice President Richard Rhodes, another Kiwanian, said Jones will be greatly missed.

“Don has been very active in Kiwanis since joining our local club in 1983. Don had a vision to create the Kiwanis All-Stars program, so that we could honor athleticism in sports that have not achieved the recognition that football and basketball players have received. Since its inception, more than 2,000 athletes have been honored,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes said everyone calls Jones Dr. Don and he was “still a trailblazer in many ways”.

“The community is going to be hard pressed to replace a Dr. Don…there aren’t many of these high-energy people around today,” he said. “He came to us via Wofford where he played football with Hall of Famer and former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. Don was director of the Henderson County Education Foundation for many years, and he also established the Hall of Fame for Educators here. He kicked off the annual golf tournament fundraiser which continues here today as well,” Rhodes said.

Hendersonville High School principal Bobby Wilkins was stunned when he heard the news.

“It’s sad. I had known Don for 40 years,” Wilkins said. “He owned a paving business and he paved the driveway to my first house. He was also in my Sunday school class.”

Longtime North Henderson educator Sue Moon got to know Jones through the Kiwanis All-Star program, where many of her volleyball players have been honored over the years. She said he always goes out of his way to speak to all the county coaches at the event.

“He was so nice. He made sure to talk to us and ask us how the season was going and how the players were doing. He did that every year. It’s going to be difficult to replace someone as caring and nice as him. it’s so sad,” she said.

Henderson County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Scott Rhodes said he has known Jones for 15 years.

“He was a huge advocate for education and also athletes across the county. He was on top of the Kiwanis All-Star program, and it was always a first-class event. He made sure of that. He was just a great asset to Henderson County students,” he said.

For several years, Jones hosted the annual high school football preview where the county’s four coaches met with Kiwanians and talked about the upcoming season. The event was scheduled for August 25.

“As far as I know, that still happens,” Wilkins said. “But it just won’t be the same.”

The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

This is a developing story. Check back here for further updates.