A Celebration of Life for Gale Jones, age 66 of Norfolk, Nebraska and formerly of Neligh, Nebraska will be at 3:00 p.m. February 25, 2023 at the Royal Auditorium in Royal, Nebraska. Casual dress is requested.
Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Royal Auditorium.
Private Family Inurnment will be in Royal Cemetery at 4:00 p.m.
Beyer Snider Memorial Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Gale passed away Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at UNMC in Omaha, Nebraska. Condolences may be directed to the family at
In Lieu of flowers memorial may be directed to the family for their discretion.
Gale D. Jones, son of Leon and Norma (Holm) Jones was born August 21, 1956 in Tilden, Nebraska. He passed away January 18, 2023 at UNMC in Omaha due to complication from open heart surgery, after battling for over 4 months to recover. He was a brother to three sisters, Cheryl, Glenda, Karen, and two brothers, Gary and Larry (deceased).
Family and friends were very important as many lifetime memories were created that will be cherished of growing up and living in the Neligh and Norfolk area.
He graduated from Neligh Oakdale High School in 1974. He later attended Northeast Community College graduating in 1976. Gale then attended Kearney State College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1979 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1980. He began his fascination of the Sandhill Cranes while attending school in Kearney. He spent many hours observing them during their annual migration.
Gale moved to Missouri after completing his graduate study. He drew caricatures for the tourists at Bagnall Dam on the Lake of the Ozarks. Literally a starving artist he did these caricatures for $2.00 each. He later was employed by the 7 Seas Port of Fine Arts Gallery on the Lake as a resident artist. He paid his rent at the Motel by drawings portraits of Chiefs for the owners of their ancestors that were of the Osage tribe.
Since 1981, he waged a private war against severe diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease, and hypertension having been a diabetic since the age 9. He was legally blind from March 1981 until the summer of 1982 when at that time he had his first of many eye surgeries. Being visually impaired enabled Gale to slow down and view his subject matter more closely. Yet he did not let this impairment limit his desire for art. He worked with various medians of art, watercolors, acrylic, graphite, sculpting and his most recent was painting on turkey feathers. One of his specialties he developed was a technique he called woven watercolors. This process involved painting two separate pieces, stripping one vertically and another horizontally. He then combined them into one composite work by weaving the two together.
He returned to Norfolk Nebraska where he opened Ravenwood Fine Arts Gallery Studio and Frame Shop which he owned for 30 plus years until selling in 2019. Gale credits his High School Art teacher, Ray Ahrens for supporting and influencing his vision of art early on. For a class assignment, students were asked to turn in a set of drawings. When the artwork was returned to the students Gale was less than enthusiastic about his grade. He asked his teacher about it. Ahrens replied, “Did you put your best effort into it?” Ahrens reminded Gale that for other students the work would be high quality, but for Gale’s ability it was not. That lesson stuck with Gale. Art by Gale’s definition should not be fun for the artist. It should be challenged. It requires patience and perseverance. Art is a desire to overcome.
To name just a few of his accomplishments and awards won both Nationally and internationally.
1981 - Missouri State Fair in Sedalia where he won Best of Show
1982 - PBS in Warrensburg, MO a televised documentary on his woven watercolor
1984 - American Artists Magazine featuring Gale as the artist and his woven watercolor technique
1984 - International Art Competition in which he was 1 of 77 artists in the watercolor
division to represent the United States
1983 - Crown Center Corp Kansas City Missouri Art Show
1983 - National Exhibit by Blind Artists - his artwork was displayed in a traveling
1984 - Brand XIII Gallery watercolor exhibits in Glendale, California
1984 - Springfield Art League 65th National Show in Springfield Massachusetts
1984 - New York Knickerbockers Artist Society. He was 1 of 20 amateur artists to have
art displayed and became a lifetime member
1984 - West Coast Artisan Inc. display in Fair Oaks, California - 1st Place
1984 - Walt Disney World Festival of the Masters in Orlando, Florida
In 2001 Gale received his Kidney Pancreas Transplant at UNMC in Omaha. After having been diagnosed as a diabetic at age of 9 years thus ending 36 years of insulin and doing peritoneal dialysis 4 times daily the last few years.
Gale will be remembered for his kind gentle ways and always willing to help others in need. Yet, through all the challenges he faced through life, he never complained. He will be missed dearly by family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Leon Jones; brother, Larry Jones; and niece, Angela Sonnenfelt. Gale is survived by his mother, Norma Jones, Neligh, NE. His sisters, Cheryl (Gary) Kaczor of Ewing, NE; Glenda (Steve) Sonnenfelt of Oakdale, NE; Karen (Randy) Furstenau of Stuart, IA; and brother, Gary L. Jones of Royal, NE. Sister-in-law, Brenda Jones of Madison, NE and along with many other family and friends.