Renaissance Man Bequeaths SDG

Bob Jones with Jean-Pierre Rampal

Bob Jones (left) with Jean-Pierre
Rampal in the mid-1900s.

Flight instructor. Flutist. Physician. Not your ordinary resume. But, then, Bob Jones is not your ordinary guy. And, to SDG, he is an extraordinary gift. You see, Bob has decided to bequeath a gift to Soli Deo Gloria.

The Chairman of SDG’s Board of Directors, Richard Gieser, interviewed Bob, and we’d like to share his inspiring story with you.



An Interview with Dr. Robert Jones
by Dr. Richard Gieser

RG: What was your first career?

BJ: While attending Northwestern University, I was studying the flute with Ernest Liegl, principal flutist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and was later offered a contract to join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I had spent three summers in the home of Frederick Stock, the conductor of the Chicago Symphony, at Bass Lake in Michigan.

RG: How did your hobby of flying change your life?

BJ:  I learned to fly when I was 16 years old in 1936. When World War II started, I entered the Air Force and have flown continuously until lately, a total of 70 years in all. My first plane was a Piper Cub, and the last plane that I piloted was heavy six-engine bomber plane that I was demonstrating, many years after I had been a test pilot on the same type of aircraft.

RG: How did you meet Jean-Pierre Rampal?

BJ: I had flown a Lockheed 18A dive-bomber from San Diego, California, to England and was to demonstrate it to the Royal Air Force. The flight over the Atlantic Ocean was particularly difficult because of storms. Very tired from the flight, I was walking through the barracks to go to bed when I heard the most beautiful flute sound through a door and sat on the floor to listen. Eventually, I knocked on the door to find who was playing this beautiful music. It turned out to be Jean-Pierre Rampal, who was scheduled to perform the next day at the RAF airport. He invited me into his room, and we played flute duets throughout the night. He was just beginning his long life as a concert artist, and we became long-time corresponding buddies.

RG: How did you become a trauma surgeon?

BJ: I was wounded during the war, and while my wounds were being cared for by the surgeons in Chicago, I became interested in the medical profession. Following discharge from active duty, my position with the Chicago Symphony had been filled, so I matriculated into Northwestern University and continued on to medical school there. I enjoyed a full career as a surgeon and physician in Aurora, Illinois, for 47 years, and then five years in Elgin, Illinois, in the Emergency and Trauma Department—all the while enjoying flying and continuing my flute playing.

RG: Why have you included SDG in your estate planning?

BJ: I am anxious to leave something that will inspire future generations. It is a joy to do something that will speak of peace today and in the future.

RG: You are the second person to include SDG in your estate planning. Do you know who the first person is?

BJ: I would guess that you are.

RG: That is correct.