Shelby Lee Jones

Apr 13, 2023

Shelby Lee Jones was born December 18, 1936, in his family’s farmhouse in rural Dickinson County, Iowa, the fourth of five children born to Glen and Flora (Kindlespire) Jones.
Shelby spent his first year of school at a one room country schoolhouse before attending Spirit Lake Elementary School. He graduated from Spirit Lake High School in 1954 where he was class president and played football, basketball, and track. In the fall after graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Iowa, becoming a lifelong Hawkeye fan. While at Iowa he met and married Mary Baker of Humboldt. Shelby graduated from the University of Iowa in 1958 with a degree in Business Administration. He proudly served in the Iowa Air National Guard.
Shelby became well known in the insurance industry in Iowa, working in underwriting, production, office management, and as an agent while living in Cedar Rapids, Storm Lake, and Orange City, Iowa. He received his C.P.C.U. designation, the insurance industry’s highest professional designation, in 1963. Shelby, Mary and their three children settled in Des Moines, Iowa, in the fall of 1969 where Shelby began a long career with Continental Western Insurance Company, becoming President and CEO from 1981 until his retirement in 1999. 

During his adult life,Shelby enjoyed hunting, golf, gardening, travel and attending Hawkeye sporting events. He was a member of the Masons, the Lions Club, Jaycees and United Methodist Church. After retirement he divided his time between homes in Okoboji, Iowa,and Tempe, AZ,enjoying the company of friends and family.

Shelby passed peacefully on April 13, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa,at the age of 86. Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm Thursday,May 18,at the Spirit Lake United Methodist Church,with visitation at the church at 1:00pm, immediately prior to the funeral service. Shelby will be laid to rest at Lakeview Cemetery in Spirit Lake.

Left to cherish his memory are son Michael Jones (Janet) of Des Moines, daughter Susan Barron (Timothy Sr.) of Naperville IL, and son-in-law Larry Belisle of Salem, OR as well as grandchildren,Phillip Belisle, Alexander Belisle, Matthew Belisle, Brandon Jones, Logan Jones, Taylor Jones, Dr. Kathryn Barron, Timothy Barron Jr. (Rebecca), and Patrick Barron. He is survived by brothers Marvin Jones and his wife Cynthia, Victor Jones and his wife Sandy, both of Tempe, AZ and his sister-in-law Peggy Jones of Okoboji, IA.

Shelby was preceded in death by his parents,Glen and Flora Jones; former wife,Mary; sister,Charlotte Tilton and her husband Warren; brother,Roger Jones, and his beloved daughter,Debra Jones Belisle.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to the National MS Society (NMSS) and the Spirit Lake United Methodist Church. 

Turner Jenness Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.