James C. “Socko” Jones, 83, of Galveston, passed away Friday, December 29, 2012, at Gulf Health Care Center. He was born October 7, 1929, in Little Rock, Arkansas, but was a resident of Galveston since age 4. Socko graduated from Ball High School and joined the US Navy, serving in World War II. Socko was a star baseball player and played professionally on the Naval Great Lakes baseball team and later played third base for the Baton Rouge Red Sticks and shortstop in the Big State League. It was from his great baseball career that Socko got his nickname. He was a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Socko retired from Sears & Roebuck and was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He was an avid deer hunter, a fabulous cook, and enjoyed camping with friends. Heaven has a new banjo player, as Socko loved nothing more than sitting around a campfire making music with his friends. He was a kind, gentle soul, and a real southern gentleman who will be missed by many.
Socko was preceded in death by his parents, Irvin and Josie Jones; and granddaughter, Bailey Jones.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Gladys Hensel Jones; children, Marcy Hanson; David I. Jones; and Paul H. Jones; grandchildren: Paul Dylan Jones and Katy Jones; and cousins, Bay Childs and Betty Jones Spiller.
Socko’s family will receive visitors beginning at 10:00 am, Wednesday, January 2nd, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. A funeral service will begin at 12:00 Noon at the funeral home, led by Rev. Alan Taylor. Burial will follow at Galveston Memorial Park in Hitchcock.
Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Childs and Frank Giusti.