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Obituary: Michael Jones

Published:  12 April, 2013

Michael Jones, the former chairman of Banbury wine merchant SH Jones, has died aged 83.

Michael Jones, the former chairman of Banbury wine merchant SH Jones, has died aged 83.

Jones was the grandson of the founder of SH Jones and its chairman before he retired in 2009. He died peacefully at Goswell Park Care Home in Bloxham on Sunday following a long illness.

Jones, one of triplets, studied as a master brewer at Birmingham University where he met his wife Sheila. He joined the family wine merchants, set up in Bloxham by his grandfather Sydney Herbert in 1877, business aged 27, after working for brewers.

He started in sales roles at SH Jones and latterly focussed on buying and overall management of the business along with his cousin Derek Jones, with whom he owned the business since 1973.

When he joined SH Jones, the company operated from cramped premises on Banbury High Street, which is today run as one of four wine shops. Jones moved the hotel distribution side of the business to a warehouse in the Tramway Estate and opened retail branches in Leamington Spa and Bicester.

His son Richard Jones, UK MD of Reh Kenderman, who became Chairman of SH Jones when Michael retired, said his father was much loved and will be greatly missed.

"I hope he'll be remembered as being straight forward, a man of integrity and a true gentleman in the old fashioned sense of the word," he said.

"The thing he most enjoyed about the wine trade was meeting interesting people all over the world. That's the beauty of the business.

"Having the privilege of having good bottles of wine opened at the dinner table instils a love of wine at an early stage. It was a great privilege to have that as an upbringing because before I even thought about working in the wine business I had a core knowledge from the business."

Michael Jones was also a president and captain at Tadmarton Golf Club, a keen sailor and enjoyed skiing until the age of 75.

He leaves behind wife Sheila, children Richard, Susan and Sarah and seven grandchildren. The family has asked for family flowers only, and that donations are made instead to Katharine House Hospice or the British Heart Foundation.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at 2pm on Friday April 19 at St Mary's Church, Bloxham, OX15 4PY.