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General Discussions => The Taxidermy Industry => Topic started by: KNOBLOCHS on July 09, 2015, 03:01:47 PM

Title: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: KNOBLOCHS on July 09, 2015, 03:01:47 PM
We are saddened to announce that Jack Jonas has passed away 7-8-15, Jack has done so much for this industry and knew so many people around the world and has spent his entire life in the taxidermy industry. Jack has also done a lot for SCI and helping start new chapters, you will be missed.

Mark Daniels

Jack Jonas passed away Wednesday, July 8, 2015. A true taxidermy industry icon, Jack was the grandson of Coloman Jonas and the former manager of Jonas Bros. Taxidermy in Denver. A member of the SCI Hunting Hall of Fame, Jack was a celebrated hunting guide, conservationist, and nearly singlehandedly saved big game hunting in Alaska. For the past two decades he has been the leading taxidermy appraiser in the world.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Mid-Atlantic Gameheads on July 09, 2015, 04:21:37 PM
Wow, what a loss. Sorry to here this, thanks for sharing Mark.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: finazducks on July 09, 2015, 04:56:52 PM
R.I.P. My friend
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Richard C on July 09, 2015, 05:15:50 PM
  I first met Jack when I visited the Jonas studio in Denver.   Jack showed us all around and was a great guy. My condolences to the family.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: AMRE2ME2 on July 09, 2015, 05:34:08 PM
Sorry to hear that Mark..
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: michael p. on July 09, 2015, 06:51:42 PM
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: John C on July 09, 2015, 08:04:58 PM
Wow another true Icon gone. Long time ago since I had gator down in Texas with Jack. He will be missed.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Bill Yox on July 09, 2015, 09:34:19 PM
Sorry to in peace.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Bruce Rittel on July 09, 2015, 09:51:22 PM
Sorry to hear about Jack. My condolences to you and your Family Mark! He'll be missed. Rest in Peace Jack!
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: George Roof on July 09, 2015, 11:12:16 PM
Condolences to call those near and dear to Jack.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Rick Krane on July 10, 2015, 08:32:45 AM
My condolences to the family. Such a nice man! Prayers to the family and friends.

Rick Krane
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: museum man on July 10, 2015, 11:10:59 AM
what a great guy he was...very sad news
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: James Marsico on July 10, 2015, 01:19:42 PM
I remember when I first met him in Denver at the downtown Jonas studios about 40 years ago. I told him I just wanted to look around and that I was a taxidermist from Alaska. He gave me a grand deluxe tour of the entire place introducing me around etc.  He could not of been nicer.  Prayers for him and and his family.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Rick Carter on July 10, 2015, 04:12:07 PM
I met Jack at an NTA show years ago. He was friendly and funny, with a lot of neat stories to tell. A great guy who will be missed. I appreciate all of the things Jack did for the taxidermy industry and for hunting.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: B Jones on July 10, 2015, 05:56:56 PM
Condolences to the Jonas family, I did not know this man but I do know the history of this family. Thank you for what you have done for this industry
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: John Janelli on July 11, 2015, 01:03:44 AM
 What a loss to our industry it was to learn of the passing of Jack Jonas. To say he was my friend is an honor and a privilege I'm certain many people can be proud to claim too. To me, he was more than that. He virtually taught me how to defend and promote our profession from Boys Scouts to rogue scholars, in church halls to university halls. And I listened.
 So much more is owed to Jack Jonas than I can write here and now, but I assure you there's more to come on this icon so that he and his accomplishments will be published and remembered.
 Here's a glimpse at the celebrity side of him as we fondly recalled the time he stayed in our little home here back in 2004. He exclaimed that he added many new prospects to his 'Black Book' of lady friends while being 'out and about' with us. He swooned the senior gals down in Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken better than Old Blue Eyes himself could have done.  That was an exciting week as we not only surprised his cousin Zella Jonas Merritt (Lou Jonas' daughter) with a visit to her home in Hudson, NY but we managed to steal her away for a weekend as they both became the gracious guests of the United Taxidermists of New York show, then held in Syracuse. He bought one ticket for a Matthews bow and won it. Jokingly, someone's girlfriend came up to him, sat on his lap and told him that she would love to give that bow to her boyfriend. He quipped back at her with all the charm and finesse of Dean Martin and said; "Sure, tell your boy friend he could pick up both you and the bow tomorrow morning from my room!"  Then Zella pounced on him like a caged lion on a meal and said, "Boy, I see that you Colorado Jonas's are still the same!"  To look at the line forming of great taxidermists at our table waiting their turn to meet Jack and Zella was nothing short of amazing. Incidentally, I killed a wood bison and a cape buffalo with that same bow, the only compound that ever meant anything to me. We laughed all night until we all got teary eyed on Sunday to say our goodbyes to everybody and each other. When Carol and me finally got him to the airport to go home, he reached into his pocket and handed me a mint 1886 silver dollar. He shared that "Grandfather (Coloman) Jonas" always gave him and big brother Joe a silver dollar at Christmas, and this was the last one Jack got from him as he gave it to me. Needless to say, I've showed it off a time or two since that day.
 Maybe now I can finally admit why the SCI Trophy Preparation Seminar we've been doing for the past few years is so special to me personally. Jack started doing that more than 30 years ago and always encouraged me to do the same thing. What a great set of footsteps to follow! Here's the contents of a letter that was sent to him as it reads about that first seminar:
April 14, 1982
Jack Jonas
1037 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
Dear Jack,
On behalf of us all, I want to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation for preparing and organizing what has to be one of the most popular seminars that we have ever hosted at the Convention.
We have received many compliments, particularly from nationally known outdoor writers in attendance about the various seminar programs and everyone continually referred to yours. Unless you have any other feelings, let's plan on doing it again next year. We are also considering one in the field care of firearms.
I know how much these extra duties and commitments at the Convention take away from your floor time and, therefore, we are doubly thankful to you for your contributions.
Holt Bodinson
cc: C.J. McElroy
     SCI Executive Committee   

For all his support throughout his years with the NTA, I nominated him for Honorary Member in 2005 and he was tickled pink when I called to tell him it was voted for unanimously. (Mr. Ivan Harvey was voted the same status on that very day as well.)
 Jack had also given us a 3 hour taped interview with him and with that his personal collection of People Magazine, early Bob Williamson Breakthrough and about 20 other leading periodicals that featured his incredible story at Jonas Bros.
If you ever had Jack sign a copy of Game Trails or The Jonas Story for you, he often did it like this;
                                                             "Here's wishing you lots of love and happiness - Jack Jonas"
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: finazducks on July 11, 2015, 09:11:15 AM
Thanks for that inspirational essay ,about Jack, John.  He was a hell of a guy.  The only thing missing was how You ended up with the bow lol
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: John Janelli on July 11, 2015, 10:56:23 AM
 Only because there were a so many witnesses at the time, when I took Jack over to meet my Mom, she didn't know what to cook for him. So she went to the butcher, not the grocery store, a real butcher shop as in fresh cut meats only.  She brought back one T-bone steak, one rib eye and one porter house steak, simply thinking she would give the Colorado gentleman his choice preference hoping one out of three would be alright for him. My Aunt Alice, (Mom's older widowed sister) was alive then and she coached my mother on how to cook steaks country style for whatever that meant. Now if you knew Jack, you'd know he liked his cocktails before dinner and so did my 86 year old aunt at the time. When Jack was offered his choice of cuts, he held my mother's hands as if pleading and said, "Mrs. Janelli, I come from Colorado where I can have any steaks I want at any time in some of the finest restaurants out west. But no one has ever cooked a real Italian meal for me in my life the way people say you can make right here. Do you have any pasta and sauce? I would really love that instead!"
 Well, 'sauce' my mother never made. Gravy - is something she always makes and a whole fresh pot was on the stove complete with meatballs, neck bones and sausages. She taught Jack the different types and blends of pasta such as Angel hair spagehtti to gnochi. He settelled on linguini because he said it sounded the most Italian to him. That at all went fine with Jack and my family enjoyed him as much he enjoyed us in the same house we were all born and raised in.

Are you with me so far Tony?  Good.

 A few days later we were at the UTNY show, Jack buys the one winning ticket on the bow and after the applause died down a bit, he asked me outside into the hall way, looked me dead in the eye and said, "You bow hunt right?" I said sure, why?  He told me that with all due respect, he'd trade the bow for my Aunt Alice's phone number. What could be more harmless than that? So I gave him her number and he gave me the bow. But that didn't stop Jack from playing the field when he got back to the table.  Carol monitored both events with all scrutiny and fun you may be assured of that. By the way, when I told Mom that Jack had died a few days ago, she remembered him as much as if he just left the house. She booked a Mass in the chuch for Jack because that's the way she was taught to believe. I think more deceased taxidermists have had catholic masses said for them than you can imagine, just for meeting my mother even only once. 
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Allie on July 11, 2015, 11:59:11 AM
Thanks, John. Another great story from you about another great man.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: Tahrhunter on July 12, 2015, 03:59:27 AM
End of an era.
Condolences from the Jacobs family.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: NTA on July 12, 2015, 02:33:59 PM
The NTA would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jack Jonas. Jack played no small part in the NTA. The following is a piece of Jack Jonas' NTA contributions. Something we should all take the time to read as we move forward into NTA Convention week this coming week.

A Message from Jack Jonas

Courtesy of Carol Janelli

Presented before the 12th annual convention of the National Taxidermist Association on July 29, 1983 in Bloomington, Minnesota.

   Your life has changed!  Your profession has changed!  Have you changed?

   Many years ago, anyone could become a taxidermist.  All you needed was a correspondence course by Northwestern School of Taxidermy and a sign that said “Big Buck Taxidermy, Joe Awful, Master Taxidermist”, and you were in business.

   The thing that has made it most difficult for us is that the public is getting educated about taxidermy.  The next problem is communication.  This comes about from the hunter-forming organizations in order to fight for his hunting rights, both in the state level and at Washington, D.C. level.  In Colorado alone, we have over 43 different hunting groups – from gun clubs to local sportsman groups.  After they are through discussing the inefficiencies of our local Fish and Game and our legislative groups, then it’s us, the TAXIDERMIST.  Unfortunately, they dwell more on criticism – not a heck of a lot of good is mentioned – “poor work”, “hair slipping”, “a year for completion”, etc.  Before these associates were formed, the unhappy customer had no one to talk to, and the taxidermist could get away with poor service.

   Have you ever sat back and just looked at the change in our field in the last 10 to 15 years?  We never joined together to discuss the problems, new techniques, new products in both mounting and finishing.  Yes, years ago, your quality was self-learned, self-taught.  In other words, you were a self-made taxidermist.

   Now sit back and look around you.  The vast knowledge that is available is mind boggling.  New forms, new teeth, new eyes, new techniques.  Seminar after seminar is presented so you can learn and improve your profession and, most important of all, improve your income.

   Hey, that’s the bottom line!

   When you walk around tomorrow and see and meet all these people who are working hard to teach you new ideas, new techniques, so you may improve your profession, take a moment out to say “thank you”, let them know that their efforts are appreciated and that you are aware that they will work harder next year to give you a better show.

   As we all know, we are fighting the most expensive battle of our lives!  The right to hunt, and the right to practice our livelihood.  A good many will sit back and let John do it.  You talk about it; you give your opinion about it; you make a great discussion about it in meetings or in the bar, but most of you are typical when you leave the meeting or bar.  It’s all forgotten!

   The big problem is that the ecologist is up early!  He is working all day just to get you and put you out of business!  He’s got money.  He’s got time.  He’s got brains.

   What the heck to we do?  We get together.  We run each other down.  We fight among ourselves.  We never have enough money.  Kind of sad, but it’s true.

   You know, looking back in the history of men in America, man was deprived.  He was low paid.  Hours were long.  So these men got together and formed labor unions.  They worked together for the cause and got things done.  Today the hunter is in the same spot. Our government is, and has, taken our hunting away.

   The big problem is that most of you are just standing there and letting it happen.  You, of all people!  You, the ones who love the wilderness!  You, the ones who love hunting!  You, the ones who love the outdoors!  You are the same individuals who talk about it, but do nothing!

   Have you gone out and raised money?  Have you written your congressmen?  Have you had other people write their congressmen?  If you have done none of this, you are the ones I am talking to!  After all, you have only your livelihood to lose; the work you love; the life you chose.  You will lose it all!

   Now, let’s look at what has happened in the last 15 years.  Two-thirds of the Alaskan lands have been designated National Parks – no hunting.  Stone sheep on limited permits.  No grizzly bear in many areas, or on limited permits.  The ecologists tried to stop the importation of grizzly bears into the USA.

   Kenya closed.  Uganda closed.  Mozambique closed.  Angola closed.  Zaire closed.  Iran closed.  Afghanistan closed.  Seal hunting closed.  Wood bison closed.  Polar bear hunting closed.  Walrus hunting closed.  Jaguar in South America closed.  Leopard, bontebok, white rhino, red lechwe closed, but just re-opened because of Safari Club International efforts, spending over $200,000 just to open hunting that never should have been closed.  Today, there are over 4 million elephants and the ecologists want to close that too.
In 1972, when the ecologists closed leopard hunting, the fur market had imported over 9,000 leopards into the USA, in contrast to the hunters only brining in a little over 200 in a good year.  I saw with my own eyes over 120,000 red lechwe in the Lochenvar swamps in Zambia.  In Botswana, we had to chase them off the airport so that planes could land.  But the ecologists said they were endangered in Southwest Africa so they could be considered an endangered species in all of Africa.  So our federal Fish and Game put them on the Endangered Species List.  There are around a million antelope in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.  Of course that’s their habitat, but in Pittsburgh they are endangered.  So, I guess we had better put them on the Endangered List.  But that’s our federal government!

   In the town of Point Hope, Alaska, they killed 45 polar bears and let them lay.  What can you do with them?  Can’t sell them.  Can’t give them away.  Alaskan fishermen are alarmed about the decline in the salmon fishery.  Seals eat lots of salmon, but we can’t hunt the seals.

   In view of all this, my best advice to you is never, never let the federal government take control of any of your state lands or game.  If you want to fight them, you never can find the right person to talk to, whereas if it’s your own state, you can find the right person, or at least picket the governor.  But where do you go to find anyone in Washington?

   The Reagan administration is the best thing that has come along for the hunter in three decades.  Watt believes in us.  Ray Arnet believes in us and they are doing and working for us.  0So if you taxidermists and the NTA want anything, you had better get with it!  If Reagan is not re-elected, we will be right back where we stared.

   The right for the rights of hunting takes money, money, and more money and togetherness.  Talk is cheap, but it takes money to win!  Speaking of money, recently I held my 8th Wild Game Dinner in Denver.  All of the proceeds are contributed to SCI, Trout Unlimited, and the SCI governmental affairs center.  As of this date, I have raised over $120,000 and given it to these programs.  In June of this year, I handed the SCI governmental affairs center my personal check for over $4,000.  All of this money goes to help you, the taxidermist, the hunter, and our sons who will be hunting tomorrow.

   We are about the only taxidermists who have raised money like this.  I hosted a wild game dinner in Alaska one night and we netted about $30,000.  It went to the Alaska SCI, which spent most of it on the Alaskan D-2 lands claims.

   This may sound like I am tooting my own horn, but I am so proud!  You know what would please me most of all – to hear all of you out there toot your horns.  We need all of you out there to help.  So, let’s get with it!

   The taxidermist should be the moving force in fighting the anti.  If there is good hunting, we have good business.  If hunting is poor, there is no business and it’s damned hard to feed a family with no business.  The movement can start with you.  In small towns, the taxidermist shop is the center of hunting.  Many of the local hunters top by to shoot the breeze.  Material should be available for free on what’s happening in Washington and at the local levels.  Hand out these materials to the hunters and fishermen.  Have a card, paper and pen available to that he can write while he is in your studio.  You pay the postage.  Use different size paper and envelopes.  Stop politicians from getting into fish and game problems.  Write in favor of the road kill regulations now being considered and fought by the NTA.  Draw up a hit list in your state and get rid of politicians who don’t like hunting or the right to bear arms.

   In closing, I am going to leave you with a big thought.  I want you to listen to every word and then make a decision.  No one man can be liked by everyone.  Sometimes, the presidency vote is a popularity poll and that’s wrong.  Elect the man who does the work.  You have a business at stake.  This year, rumors are going around that someone blew the whistle and told the government that you might have used the museum mailing number to save postage and maybe a $2,200 charge will be levied against the NTA.  Whether it’s true or not, it will cost you money to prove that it was museum business.  Look at it this way:  Do any of you know how much work it takes to make $2,200, and how much good $2,200 could do for your cause and the NTA’s?  For one of your own members to do that to you all is unbelievable.  He should be strung up!

   Please, please this year work together; forget personalities.  Just get the job done.

   I was going to end with that, but if you are a family man and love the wilderness, you are going to have to work for it.  We have two programs.  We need our support as well as all of your friends.  We need you all to write your congressmen and senators with regard to the Migratory Bird Act to permit taxidermists to mount “road kills”.  The other is to write about opening up the Alaskan national parks for hunting.  About two-thirds of Alaska is national parks and, as citizens of the USA, we should be able to hunt in those parks under the proper care and laws.  The bill is called S-49.  So please right.

   I am a father too and I want my children to be able to hunt up there.  Please!
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: John Bellucci on July 14, 2015, 04:23:52 PM
What a loss!  I met Jack on a couple of occasions years ago ... one of the World Shows and an NTA convention.  Always had a smile, and always loaded with enthusiasm.  Made you feel like one of the family ... to the point where he handed me a copy of "The Art Of Taxidermy" by Joe Jonas, Jr.! ... just because he happened to have a few copies of his brother's book! 
He was a Taxidermy legacy, and he will be sorely missed. 
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: boxerpet on July 15, 2015, 08:17:29 PM
I have know Jack for over 50 years.
Jack and I had a few things in common Besides being a great guy and a social animal .He knew how to throw a great party and was the life of that party.
He was always serving exotic meats at his booth at SCI conventions and telling jokes.
I said Jack, we are both type 1 diabetics you can continue like this.  To much fun yet to have and the ladies are waiting.
That's the Jack I knew.
Rest in peace old friend I will see you again soon.
Title: Re: Jack Jonas passed away 7-8-15
Post by: AZ-Rich on July 15, 2015, 09:23:19 PM
Yes, Jack was a Social Animal for sure.  I met him at an SCI fundraiser back in 1984 with the organization's founder, CJ McElroy.  Wiith all  the free flowing liquor that was common in those days everyone was getting looped and I remember asking him about some technique question and he just said: "You know, I'd like to mount your Wife".  Needless to say that ended of my enthusiasm for any further conversation.   That was over 30 years ago... today I would have just laughed him off.

RIP Jack.