by Laurel M. Sheppard, past Editor, Ceramic Bulletin and ceramicSource

It is with deep regret, I report that previous Society staff member, Jon Hines, passed away on February 23. When I joined the Society in 1988, he had already worked there for 21 years. When he finally retired in 2007, James Sawyer, editor at that time, put it well: “He is the rare person with the loyalty, tenacity, patience and perseverance to spend an entire career with one organization.”

Although I only worked with Jon for a fraction of his employment, I was able to witness these qualities first-hand. Along with Cleo Eddie, another Bulletin staff member, we became a team that worked well together and had fun together. Jon was dedicated to his job and it always showed. I’m sure those who worked with him longer would agree.

Cleo is one who does: “Jon Hines was a good friend and a genial coworker, who was meticulous in his work for the Society and the Ceramic Bulletin. He was thorough and detailed in his research and loyal to the Society and its mission. He was always helpful and pleasant to Society staff and members.”

The Society’s technical content manager, Greg Geiger, has similar memories. “Jon was a super nice person and an all-around great guy. I always appreciated how approachable Jon was and that he was always eager and willing to help. I especially needed his editorial guidance when I was first hired and began writing feature articles and the Technology Briefs section for the Bulletin.”

Another previous employee, Russell Jordan, past editor of the Society Journal, adds: “I remember Jon well, and I think of him often. Jon knew everyone and everything about the society. He had an extensive ‘morgue file’ and knew where to find photographs and news stories in it. I remember he helped me many times when I needed to do a bio for the Journal.”

ACerS executive director Mark Mecklenborg adds, “Jon was definitely the historian of the Society. He had a wealth of ACerS knowledge and made very significant contributions to the Bulletin and to ACerS.”

Although Jon was a very private person, we do know a few things about his personal life:

  • He loved his dogs, especially West Highland Terriers, his “Westies.” He always had two at a time to keep him and each other company.
  • He was a devout Catholic.
  • He was an avid gardener.

According to Russell: “About 30 years ago, Jon brought me several Hosta plants that he had dug from his garden. They continue to grow and bloom each summer if the deer don’t eat them. This is when I remember Jon most often.”