During his business career, he was a building contractor, a developer, owned an automobile dealership, a grocer/wholesale company, and various real estate ventures. These paved the way for the current Cassity Jones Companies which now includes Cassity Jones Lumber, Home Plus Floors, A-1 Rental, Winn Tile Co., and CJ Commercial.
When Cassity’s father died in 1936, Cassity, at the age of 16, became the man of the family in charge of the farm. As a Panola County native, he graduated from Carthage High School, taking math and science courses in order to qualify to attend Texas A&M University. He graduated from A&M in 1940, where he served in the Corps of Cadets. It has been said that Cassity’s entrepreneurial success began at A&M where he milked cows for the college to earn his room and board.
Cassity served his country during World War II in the Army Air Corps. After returning from the war, he taught at Panola College as a member of the charter faculty. Soon, he started building houses due to the post-war demand and this led to his opening a lumber yard to facilitate his growing construction business. It was in Carthage that he started various other business ventures that eventually led to his business success throughout the East Texas area.
In recent years, his company has been under the leadership of his sons John Jones, CEO, Jim Jones, CFO, and Jerry Jones, director of marketing. Grandson, Jeb Jones, is the chief operations office.
Stores are now located in Longview, Carthage, Tyler, Henderson, Marshall, Nacogdoches, Terrell and the Dallas area.
He and his wife of 40 years, Claudette Cox Jones, have lived in Longview for 34 years, and have been active in many civic, social and charitable organizations. Cassity was a member of First United Methodist Church, Longview, and a member of the Henry Foster Sunday School Class. As a life-long member of the Methodist Church, he served on numerous boards and committees including the trustee board and building committee. For many years he was the lay delegate to the Methodist Conference in Houston.
He was a former member of the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, Carthage Club, Pinecrest Country Club, Cherokee Club, Charter member of Longfellows and many other clubs and organizations. Recently, he was chosen by the Carthage ISD Alumni Association for the “Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.” Panola College also honored him with a permanent plaque on the campus’ “Panola Pony” in appreciation of Cassity’s support and service to the college and community.
Cassity was an avid reader and loved to read about history. His favorite books were about Jefferson, Adams and Hamilton. He also loved poetry and could recite from memory many of the poems he learned in high school and college. His hobbies included jogging and gardening. He especially loved growing tomatoes to give to his family and friends.
Cassity was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Ruth Buck and Mildred Norris; his brother, Tom Jones; and his first wife, Frances Dennard, the mother of their four children, who died of cancer in 1971.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Claudette, and their combined family, daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Sam Forester of Longview, son and daughter-in-law John and Lisa Jones of Tyler, son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Vicki Jones of Longview, son and daughter-in-law, Jerry and Lisa Jones of Tyler, daughter and son-in-law, Adana and John Peloubet of Ft. Worth, and daughter and son-in-law, Ami and Craig Cooper of Dallas. Grandchildren, Jeb Jones and wife Betsy, Leigh Namken and husband Brandon, Julie Forester, Whitney Routhe and husband Tom, Jay Forester, Crystal Tipton and husband Kelly, Lacy Jones, Cassity Jones, Emilie Watson and husband Kent, Olivia Peloubet, Blake Jones, Lauren Jones, Caroline Cooper, and William Cooper, as well as six great-grandchildren, Griffin, Riley, Reagan, Clayton, Blayne, and Kathryn “Ryn”.
He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Betty Hudson and husband Joe of Carthage, sister-in-law, Ferne Florence and husband Jack of Kilgore and brother-in-law, Jerry Cox and wife Judy of Kilgore.
Memorials may be made in Cassity’s memory to Asbury House or to the American Cancer Society. Services are pending with Rader Funeral Home of Kilgore.