Tuesday, January 11, 2022

George M. "Dogie" Jones 1926-2022


George Meredith “Dogie” Jones was born July 23th, 1926, in Las Vegas, New Mexico to Doreen Pickard Jones and Garnet Meredith “Butch” Jones.  He passed away January 7th, 2022 in his ranch home at Watrous, New Mexico. 

At the time of Dogie’s birth, his father Butch, a veterinarian, was manager of the Forked Lightning Ranch at Pecos, New Mexico owned by famed rodeo producer Tex Austin.  His Mother Doreen, originally from South Africa, was among the Boer settlers who immigrated to the Americas after the Boer wars. They later moved to the family’s ranches at Watrous, New Mexico, where Dogie and his younger brother Charlie grew up.  

During World War II, Dogie begged his parents’ permission to join the service in 1943, as he was only 16 years old.  They finally relented, and Dogie the cowboy became Dogie the sailor in a war that had engulfed the entire globe.  He was a gunner on the USS Copahee, an Escort Carrier that crisscrossed the Pacific transporting everything from replacement combat aircraft and munitions to captured enemy planes.  Dogie saw combat action and typhoons, endless boring water and exotic islands and, at the end of it all, returned to New Mexico and the ranch life he loved.  

In the late 1940’s Dogie, accompanied by his wife and child, went to Mexico with the “Fievre Aftosa” campaign to eradicate Hoof and Mouth disease in that country, working in numerous areas including San Luis Potosi and Leon, Guanajuato. 

 In the early 1950’s he purchased the family’s Hashknife Ranch from his grandmother, becoming the fourth generation on the ranch established by his great grandfather William Kronig in the mid-1800’s.  Supplementing the ranch operation, he worked as a lineman for the regional telephone company and later joined the New Mexico Cattle Sanitary Board as a cattle inspector.  For a time, Dogie was also on the faculty at New Mexico Highlands University, teaching leathercraft. 

He made a career with the New Mexico Sanitary Board, later reorganized as the New Mexico Livestock Board, and served as its Executive Director from 1979 until 1985.  After retiring from the agency in 1988, he devoted full time to the Hashknife Ranch, active in its operations right up until his passing. 

Dogie had a keen eye for good livestock, especially horses.  He built one of the highest quality horse operations in the region, and was a recipient of the American Quarter Horse Association’s 50 Year Legacy Award.   His stallions and mares were well known and sought after across the country.   Fine horses and cattle were always synonymous with the Hashknife brand.  

Dogie served his country, the State of New Mexico, the livestock industry, and his community.  He was as a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau, the American Quarter Association (AQHA), the Southwest Quarter Horse Association, and the New Mexico Quarter Horse Association (NMQHA), serving on its board of directors for over 30 years.  He was President of the Las Vegas Roughriders Rodeo Committee, and served six years on the Las Vegas City School Board.  He was a founding member on the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Foundation Board, and was one of the early contributors to the Frank DuBois NMSU Rodeo Scholarship Fund. While employed with the New Mexico Livestock Board as its Executive Director, he served on numerous committees, most notably the United States Animal Health Association’s Animal Electronic Identification Committee. 

He is survived by his wife, Joyce Ann, daughter Georgia M. Culbertson (Myles), son William Meredith (Jane Ellen), Daughter Jacque Flowers (Bill), daughter Geralyn Segotta (Beaver), son Curtis, 7 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. 

George Meredith “Dogie” Jones was a cowboy, a horseman, a war veteran, a rancher & farmer, and a leader.  He was a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather whose 95-plus years took in a large slice of the sweeping history of the country and the State of New Mexico. 

A granddaughter, Avery Culbertson, said it this way: “He gave me a knowledge and appreciation for family heritage and a healthy respect for a good rain on good land. He exemplified the values of hard work and excelling at a craft; be it leather work, wood work, farming, gardening, or breeding good horses and cattle.  He had a thirst for knowledge. He was independent, persistent, tenacious and had an epic stubborn streak. He would get after me for being so stubborn and I would simply ask him in response, “well where to you think I got it from?” Most of all, I will always appreciate his zest for life and adventure, and his curiosity. I will miss him.”

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the DuBois Rodeo Award or the charity of your choice. For the DuBois Rodeo Award at NMSU, make checks payable to NMSU Foundation and mail to College of ACES, MSC 3AG, NMSU, PO Box 30003, Las Cruces, NM, 88001. 


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