Sandy Jones, Beloved Piper and GMHG Board Member and Trustee, Passes
It is with the deepest regret that I report the passing of one of our own, Pipe Major Sandy Jones. Sandy passed away peacefully March 5th in Johnson City after a bout with pneumonia. He was surrounded by his loving wife of 65 years, Dorcas, daughter Cathleen, and other family and friends.
Mere words cannot express the loss of Sandy to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. He was originally recruited by GMHG founder Mrs. Agnes Morton to bring piping to the fore at the Games. Since that moment, Sandy has been one of ours, serving as Director of Piping, long-serving member of the Board, the 10th President of the Highland Games, a Trustee, and a consistent Ambassador for GMHG.
Sandy served Piping in the US and Canada for more than six decades. He touched countless people in countless ways, and I think he remembered every one of them. He was a teacher, a judge, a mentor, and a friend. He spoke to people about Grandfather Mountain wherever he went, and that was plenty of places as a band leader and a competition judge. He founded the US Air Force Pipe Band and the Citadel Pipe Band. His work with the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming is the stuff of legend; it would not be an overstatement to label Sandy as the single most influential person in US Piping history.
Sandy collected people, and he held on to them. He was my friend when I needed a friend, and he was my friend when things were ok too. He was steadfast, a salt of the earth worker, and never made anything all about him. Sandy received many accolades in his life and every one of them was well earned. He was a worker, offering to help and responding when asked. He was a consummate gentleman.
We at GMHG will miss him. He was an anchor to our past, and a guiding light to our future. Sandy loved the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games like no other. He was one of our own, and I shall not see the like of Sandy Jones again. Goodbye old friend:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains
fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
With deepest condolences to Dorcas and the family,
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games