Kenny Jones has worn a lot of hats over the years, but perhaps the most important to him is that of father.
Originally from Greenfield, Jones entered the Missouri Highway Patrol Academy and graduated in 1974. He had graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia in 1972 with a BA in Agriculture.
After serving as a state trooper for nine years, he was elected Moniteau County Sheriff in 1984, taking office in 1985.
In 1991, he and his children tragically lost their wife and mother, Pam. The hat of single father was not an easy fit. Clayton was 15, Caleb 11, Lacey 9, and Lindsey 7. He quickly found it was hard to raise the family alone.
"I had no family in the area," Kenny said. "so we became dependent on friends, neighbors, the school, teachers and church."
The school and teachers were important. Although Clayton was in school at California, the three younger ones were in school at Clarksburg. Partly because their mother had been on the Clarksburg school board, but partly because the class size ran from nine to 14 students, they were well known to the teachers.
Kenny maintains the church was very important. They were members of the First Christian Church, California, and he was a deacon.
"Probably the one consistant element in our lives was the church," he said. "We went to church every Sunday and had dinner together afterwards."
In addition, all four became active in sports. The boys were in Cub Scouts. The family was also active in 4-H and FFA.
"On the farm, we raised cattle," Kenny said. "They raised pigs as their 4-H projects."
Over the years, he has managed to make it to many of the children's activities in high school and made it to all graduations, "thanks to the support of the employees at the sheriff's office and the county commission."
They were also able to travel someplace each year. One year they were able to go to Yellowstone National Park.
In 2004, Kenny was elected to represent the 117th District of the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004 and served three two-year terms. In 2012, he was appointed and confirmed to a six-year term on the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole. He remains an active member of the First Christian Church where he serves as an elder.
Kenny commented that as he was struggling with beginning the multiple roles in life, a lawyer acquaintance who had been through a similar transition said that "in this difficult situation your children will be either very successful and driven, or failures. Not much in between."
All of the Jones children are graduates of Missouri University-Columbia. Clayton and Caleb are both lawyers. After serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Kansas City, Clayton formed his own law firm. He also serves as municipal judge for a town near his home in Pleasant Hill. He and his wife Becky have two children.
Caleb is a partner with his brother in the law firm. He was also elected to represent the 117th District of the Missouri House of Representatives (now the 50th District). Caleb and his wife Lindsey currently reside in Columbia.
Lacey, an ag economics graduate, is working on a dairy farm in Russia. The operation milks 4,000 Holstein cows which were imported from Kansas.
Lindsey earned a degree in food science and nutrition. After working in a center for special needs children in Pennsylvania, she returned to Missouri. She now is an Intake Counselor for St. Patricks Center, St. Louis.
As far as the family of Kenny Jones is concerned, success would be the word to use.