Robert (Bob) Jones, one of the fixtures of the American export arm of the business for decades, died in his sleep mid-October, assumedly from natural causes as he was nearing his 100th birthday. The son of Welsh immigrants, Bob’s Arjay Export Co. and Robert Jones International (of Hyannis, Mass.) were among the few coin-op firms in the U.S. whose principle business was trading in new and used jukeboxes, games and gaming machines like bingos and slots.
The native of Evanston, Ill., reportedly fell in with the coin machine business back when he served as a quartermaster (supply distribution) at the U.S. Army’s Ft. Devens station in Massachusetts. After service, he eventually joined up with the legendary Si Redd when the latter ran Redd Distributing in Newton, Mass. Bob worked until he semi-retired at the age of 87, but only gave up his beloved golf when he hit 97.
Before moving into a retirement home, Bob and his wife of 57 years Ruth lived in various townships on Cape Cod (e.g. Yarthmouthport). He was a member of the Hyannisport Golf Club and played for many years in the Bobby Jones International Golf Tournament. (He took a lot of ribbing over the years about the commonality of his name with the golf great, although our Bob was no slouch on the links either.)
Bob leaves a platoon of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His son Bruce, who presently resides with his wife Irene in Australia, worked alongside his father for a brief spell years back. Bob Jones was one of those long timers who will be missed by friends and customers throughout the entire world, which is where he found his customer base. May he rest in God’s peace.