Walter Heath Jones

Published May 1, 2003

Retired archbishop Walter Heath Jones died on March 22 at the age of 74 as a result of injuries suffered in a skiing accident near Flagstaff, Ariz.

Archbishop Jones was known for his strong emphasis on stewardship and work with native people both in the United States and Canada. In a letter to Canadian bishops, the primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, wrote, “While we in Canada are most familiar with his valuable leadership in the diocesan, provincial and national life of our church, he also made a significant contribution to the life of the Episcopal Church.”

Born in Winnipeg, Archbishop Jones was ordained in 1952 and served as a parish priest in Flin Flon, Man., in the diocese of Brandon and in Winnipeg, in the diocese of Rupert?s Land. He moved to South Dakota in 1958, where he was consecrated bishop of the diocese of South Dakota in 1970.

In 1982, he was the surprising choice of an episcopal election in Rupert’s Land, since his name was not one of the 15 submitted to the diocesan synod by a search committee. However, he was a write-in candidate and after the sixth ballot, he was elected bishop. He also served as metropolitan of the ecclesiastical (church) province of Rupert’s Land from 1988 to 1993, when he retired. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and four grown children.


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