Lloyd Jones didn’t wait for things to happen, he made them happen, and he always made things better when he did.
Jones, and his daughter, Bella, 11, both of Davenport, were killed Dec. 4 in a vehicle crash in the Peoria area. They are survived by several family members.
“He had an infectious smile,” Tim Schlicksup, owner of Knilans' Furniture and Interior Design and Jones’ employer, said. “That was the first thing that helped you know he made everything better.”
Jones managed the warehouse at Knilans’, repaired furniture, performed deliveries and was just an all-around fixer, Schlicksup said.
When Jones first began working for Knilans’, a couple of workers were explaining a project for which they would be responsible in the warehouse — moving some shelves and their contents. Jones just started moving the boxes right then. Why wait?
“Any problem that came up, it was solved and it was solved immediately,” Schlicksup said.
Another time, when he thought the logo T-shirts Knilans’ had weren’t quite providing the image they needed for the company, Jones dressed them up by dressing himself up — bow tie and collared shirt underneath.
He would come to Schlicksup with ideas such as some tools or equipment that would make Knilans’ business better.
After his ideas kept paying off, Schlicksup told Jones not to worry about permission. If he thought something could get the job done, he could just set it up.
“He just made everything and everyone better, and he just cared so much for the work that he did and his family,” Schlicksup said.
Family was very important to Jones. His work space is decorated with a collage of pictures of his family, and his Facebook profile was also full of posts expressing love and appreciation of his family.
It also had details of his adventures traveling and working for Knilans’.
The Jones family volunteered for Festival of Trees until a few years ago, when they stepped down to spend more time with family, recalled Cheryl DeCap, the finance manager for Festival.
The family also worked on the Gingerbread Village.
DeCap mostly worked with Carrie, Lloyd Jones’ wife, as well as Jones’ mother during that time, but also remembers Jones being there, helping his wife.
They'd always go the extra mile.
“They always did such a wonderful job of making Gingerbread Village look so warm and wonderful,” said DeCap, who was Festival’s administrator at that time.
To help explain the kind of family the Joneses are, Schlicksup said several of them made a point of coming to Knilans’ recently to see how Lloyd Jones’ work family was coping with the loss.
“While they’re grieving, they’re worried about how we are,” he said.
Knilans’, to help Carrie Jones and the family, started a GoFundMe this week to cover their expenses in the aftermath of the crash.
The goal is $100,000, and as of Thursday, the fundraiser was already more than halfway to that goal, thanks in part to a $30,000 donation from Samuel Allen, who recently retired from Deere & Co.
Nearly 300 other people had also donated, many of them giving $1,000.
Customers are also trying to help in other ways, Schlicksup said. One, with a tree service, will be helping Jones’ mother with tree trimming on her property that he’d planned to do.
Knilans’ page, which included a post about the GoFundMe, has dozens of posts talking about Jones or expressing condolences and similar posts are on the fundraiser page.
“He is without a doubt the best man I have ever met,” Schlicksup said.
Schlicksup said that, in addition to the online option, people can also donate to help the Jones family by mailing checks made out to Carrie Jones to Knilans’ Furniture. The address is 3015 Brady St., Davenport, IA 52803.
Anyone with questions can contact Schlicksup at 563-322-0903.