Dr. Jimmy Jones, Humanitarian and Doctor
It is not hard to imagine Dr. Jimmy Jones in a black suit, wearing a flat crowned black hat, medical bag by his side, driving a horse drawn buggy making house calls. His attitude about the practice of medicine fits that scenario better than the hustle and bustle of today’s world.
At a recent reception honoring both his 75th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his beginning to practice medicine, one thing was prevalent; he deeply cares for his patients and his patients care for him. More than a simple party with cake and punch, the reception was a tribute to a man much loved by his patients, colleagues, and family.
Jones graduated from Bridge City High School in 1958. The class was the second graduation class of the new high school. “I was class president and we had $100 left at the end of the year. We needed to do something with the money, so we decided to buy trees. We bought the oak trees that still stand in front of the school today”, said Jones.
He enrolled at the then Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont and graduated with a degree in Biology in 1961. “I knew from an early age I wanted to be a doctor and wanted to practice family medicine. After Lamar, I went to medical school at UTMB in Galveston. I graduated in 1965 and went to Fort Worth and spent time at John Peter Smith Hospital. I finished there in 1968, came back home and have been here ever since.”
Jones first office was on Texas Avenue in Bridge City, after a year he moved to an office on Green Avenue in Orange for two years and then to his present location on Western Avenue in West Orange.
“I am practicing in the only medical field I ever considered. I feel like I was called to Orange to practice medicine in Orange. I love what I do, do not feel like I have a job, and will practice medicine as long as I am able to do so”, said Jones. “My practice is very enjoyable. Early on I dedicated my practice to the Lord. It has been better than I ever imagined it would be.”
His faith is very important to him, he has been an active member of Winfree Baptist Church for over 40 years.
Jones is still seeing an average of 40 patients each day and is treating the fifth generation of some families. Asked if he can estimate how many patients he has seen in his years of practice, all he can do is roll his eyes and shake his head. “There is no way I can even come close…has to be thousands”, said Jones.
He has not limited his medical knowledge to humans. Once he was riding with his dad, the late J.B. Jones, and they saw one of their cows in the field that was bloated. They stopped and the doctor told his dad he needed a knife. Puzzled, the elder Jones gave him a butcher knife. “I took the knife and stabbed the cow in the side of the stomach. Dad said ‘You killed my cow’. I told him to just wait a while. Later we drove back by the old cow and she was grazing normally. The bloat was gone.”
Jones has enjoyed raising cattle. It was an important part of his family life for many years. On the table among all the family pictures at the reception was one of Jones and “Jim Dandy” a large Red Brahman bull.
Kevin Trinkle, the chaplain at Baptist Hospital, Orange and Beaumont, read statements of tribute to Jones from his colleagues who also practice at the hospital. Jones is very respected by those who have practiced medicine with him over his years at the hospital. Several nurses wrote that Jones has always treated everyone with respect. One statement related that even if Jones is called at two in the morning he is always pleasant and courteous to whoever has had to make the call.
Dr. Gordon Parks stated that when he came to Orange to start his practice, Jones told him he was welcome to use his office until he got his feet on the ground. He could stay as long as he needed to, and there would be no “rent.”
Ronald Norwood said he has known Jones over 40 years as a doctor and friend. “Once I called him and he came to my house because my son was running a high fever. Doc took the boy and put him in a tub of very cold water. He sat with us and checked on my son and soon the fever broke and his temperature was back to normal. Doc has been as good a friend as he has been a doctor”, said Norwood.
“I have seen a lot of changes in my years as a doctor. There are a lot more regulations now. A lot more paperwork. One thing has not changed about medicine; it is still all about one individual trying to help another”, said Jones.
Photo – Kevin Trinkle, the chaplain at Baptist Hospital, Orange and Beaumont, reads statements of tribute to Jones from his colleagues who also practice at the hospitals.