In Memory

Owen Jones

JONES, Owen C. T.: December 22, 1958 - January 26, 2016. Chef Owen Jones, "the hardest working man in show business", has finally left the mountain. Owen Charles Taylor Jones was born on December 22, 1958 in Murrayville BC; the Jones family relocated to the Okanagan in 1966. "Spike" started out washing dishes in Penticton at the age of 16 and quickly rose through the ranks, working at various Penticton restaurants, eventually becoming sous chef under Hans Strobel at Granny Bogner's. Owen moved to Vancouver in the 80's; ten years later, he was enticed to Whistler by the newly opening Monk's Grill at Blackcomb. He left Monk's in 2001, and found his niche at 21 Steps, where he was executive chef. Owen was an excessively independent and private guy. He faked good health as long as he could get away with it, and when he was clearly very ill he still shrugged and smiled, insisting that he felt "okay". Even up to the last couple of days of his life he enjoyed chatting on the phone with old friends and his sisters and watching hockey games with his buddies. Owen died peacefully at Squamish Hospital on January 26, 2016. He is survived by his heartbroken sisters, Lynda Jones Layng (Kirby Layng) of Penticton, Margo Cooper (Michael) of Victoria, and Susan Jones, also of Penticton; his 3 nieces, Juliana, Angela and Barbara; and his mother Jean Johnson (Wilf) of Penticton. He also leaves behind 14 guitars and a couple hundred books ("my babies!)" and so many people who remember him fondly; whether it was just the other week or 40 years ago that he made them laugh. Owen was witty, gracious and generous, with a personality even bigger than he was. Chef Owen's friends and colleagues at Whistler are gathering at 21 Steps on February 13 to say goodbye. Spike would have enjoyed knowing that his old friends and family were remembering him privately and informally - "no big deal" by request.

Published in Okanagan Valley Newspaper Group on Feb. 12, 2016 - See more at: