Rev Richard F Jones, Worcester/Bolton Massachusetts

Music-Related Obituary

Rev. Richard F. Jones, BA, MDiv (born 7/17/1956) passed away on Sunday, August 28, 2022 after a short hospitalization. Before retiring in 2020, he was the Pastor of the First Parish of Bolton, Massachusetts, for 25 years, and was a leader in the cultural life of the Worcester area and a passionate advocate for music and history throughout the region. As Hook Organ Curator and Development Officer of Worcester’s historic Mechanics Hall, he instituted a popular free noontime Brown Bag concert series and worked with many well-known personalities, from cellist Yo Yo Ma to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Richard served numerous organizations including two terms as dean of the Worcester AGO and as board member of the Organ Historical Society. In his work as Dean, Richard instituted a public school education program for the chapter that mesmerized thousands of students with the capabilities of the pipe organ. In 1985, he organized The Fuller International Organ Festival with organists including Simon Preston, Peter Hurford, and David Higgs, He also served as Education Director of the Worcester Historical Museum, was a contributing writer for Worcester Magazine, hosted a radio program on the local NPR station ("The Art of the Organ"), served as musical consultant for the Merchant-Ivory film, The Bostonians, and was an active member of the Worcester Shakespeare Club. He served on the organ restoration committees of both the Hook in Mechanics Hall and the Kimball in Worcester Auditorium.

A Celebration of Life service is being planned for Tuesday, 10/11/22 at 7pm at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St, Worcester, MA. A tribute concert is being planned at the hall for 2023.

Memorial donations may be sent to the 1864 Hook Organ Fund at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St, Worcester, MA 01608.
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Worcester-  Rev. Richard F. Jones, 66, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 28, 2022 following a brief illness. He is survived by his brother, Robert A. Jones of Worcester; generations of cousins, and many dear friends. He is pre-deceased by his brother Alan K. Jones.

Raised in East Brookfield, Richard was the son of the late Kenwood & Beverly (Austin) Jones. He was a graduate of the David Prouty High School, Class of 1975, and Worcester State College. As a young professional, Richard immersed himself as a leader in the cultural life of Worcester while serving as the Creative Programs Director and curator of the Hook Organ at the historic Mechanics Hall. In this capacity, Richard invited and hosted world-renowned musicians and personalities to perform in Worcester. He enjoyed great success in overseeing the restoration of the 1864 Hook Organ and instituting the popular Brown Bag Concert Series at Mechanics Hall. An eminent historian, Richard later accepted a position to serve as the Education Coordinator for the Worcester Historical Museum and concurrently contributed as a writer for Worcester Magazine and as a talk show host for Worcester Public Radio.

Richard then answered his call to ministry, enrolling and proudly completing studies to obtain his Master of Divinity degree from the Andover Newton Theological School. In October of 1995, Rev. Richard F. Jones was named the thirteenth minister of the First Parish of Bolton. Revered for his engaging sermons, unique and personal approach, Rev. Jones faithfully ministered to generations of families and friends in all times of life’s joy and sorrow. He was an apostle of pastoral care and counseling, admired as a most eloquent orator, and a preacher of hope and social equity for all.

He previously served as Moderator for the United Church of Christ-Southern New England Conference, sat on the board of directors for numerous organizations and was a beloved member of the Worcester Shakespeare Club.
Richard held vast knowledge for all things Worcester, especially area churches and organs, and possessed an affinity for classical music, literature, poetry, and genealogy. He enjoyed the canine companionship of his late Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Ellie and Kristi, and cherished his yearly summer retreats to Bailey Island, Maine.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 7PM on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Rev. Richard F. Jones to the 1864 Hook Organ Fund, Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester, MA 01608. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water St., Clinton. Online condolences may be placed at