Kevin Jones<br/ >2015 Trustees' Fund Award Recipient

Kevin Jones
2015 Trustees' Fund Award Recipient

Former Program Specialist
May Center for Adult Services, Western Mass.

Kevin was a perfect example of an exemplary employee who provided outstanding service and support to the Individuals we serve. His dedication and compassion were truly extraordinary. Kevin started working for May Institute’s Adult Services in Western Mass., at a residential group home, in July of 1994. He was a consistent presence in the house, relied on and beloved by individuals and staff.

For 20+ years, he primarily provided one-on-one services to a particular Individual with a traumatic brain injury. He supported Scott at family weddings, football games, and other family special events. Scott looked forward to his weekly Tuesday night outings with Kevin at the movie theater.

Over the past year, Kevin battled an illness that eventually took his life in October 2015. Throughout the last year — and even up to the day he lost his life — Kevin had a positive spirit and a hopeful attitude that was inspirational. As supported by the eulogy below, written by Scott’s father, Kevin was respected, appreciated, and given tremendous accolades for the services he provided.

Measure of a Man - for Kevin Jones
By Joe (Scott's father)

October 8, 2015

How does one measure a man who stands tall above the ground and speaks with thunder in his voice? What yard stick, tape measure or other tool can we use to determine his height and stature?

Kevin Jones has been a part of our family over the last several years as he had been the principal caretaker and chauffeur for my disabled son Scott, for all of Scott's daily activities as well as many special and family events over the years. During that period, in big ways and in small, Kevin helped Scott to enjoy his life while teaching us a lesson in how to take the full measure of a man.

Of particular note, was the time 4 years ago when the June 1st tornado came up the Connecticut River Valley, through Springfield and adjacent areas and ultimately blew out windows and doors in Scott's house, tearing off parts of the roof and surrounding trees. Scott and Kevin were home by themselves at the time the tornado hit.

Hearing the wind beginning to howl and the thunderous roar of the tornado approaching, Kevin jumped into action. He first wanted to move Scott down into the basement, but that was never going to happen quickly enough if at all. So, Kevin Jones did the next best thing.

He wheeled Scott into the interior hallway and draped himself over Scott saying, "Scott, whatever is going to happen to you is going to happen to me first." With that, the tornado blew out windows, the door, and the surroundings, leaving Scott and Kevin untouched. 

The above story reveals a great deal about who Kevin Jones was as a man, as a friend and as a Caretaker. That same concern and eagerness to help others in the most basic and often overlooked ways is part of what made this gentle giant such a special person.

Today, Kevin is finally returned home. But while the last year had taken its toll on him physically, Kevin kept fighting on, without complaining,
visiting Scott and family and saying to anyone wanting to know how he felt "It is what it is. I just do what they tell me."

What else would you have expect from a man who towered over most of us in so many ways? Be at peace Kevin. Your journey has ended, but not our love or our memory of you.

Joe (Father of Scott)
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