Copeland Funeral Service

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Howell C. (Nick) Jones, Jr., passed away peacefully at his home in Sheldon on March 11, 2017. Nick was born on June 19, 1927 in Orangeburg, SC and raised in Barnwell and Summerville– one of five children born to Howell and Libby Jones.

Nick served the military in the WWII Training Command as an Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet at Auburn U. and in the Navy as an Aviation Cadet.
He attended the Citadel, graduating in 1950, with a degree in Civil Engineering. He became a well-respected structural engineer, owning his own firm and consulting on large projects throughout the state.

In1963, he began his air racing career, and for 11 years he was involved in Formula One racing. Not only was Nick an extraordinary pilot, but he was also a talented airplane designer and builder. In 1964, Nick began construction of a Cassutt race plane, which he finished in less than 15 months. After the first “straight” Cassutt, he built two other modified versions of the same plane. He also designed and built the White Lightning, a 4-seat aircraft and also the Lightning Bug, a 1-seat aircraft.

For many years, he and his son Howell, built and operated Two-Stroke Engine Co. in Beaufort, designing, manufacturing, and selling highly advanced 2-stroke engines for aircraft, boats, cars and industrial machinery.

A leader in the sport himself, he was the founder, promoter and organizer of the Oshkosh 500. He broke 3 world speed records, collected many air racing awards, and in 1998, was named South Carolina Aviator of the Year.

In 1970, Nick married Elaine Loening, a fellow air racer, and they moved to Summerville with her two children, Lynne and Scott. They had two children together, Howell and Eleanor. The family moved to Huspa Plantation in Sheldon in 1974, where Nick spent the rest of his life. He was predeceased by Elaine, Scott, and both Howell and Eleanor.

Besides flying, Nick’s other great passion was horseback riding – especially around Huspa. He rode almost daily until his late 80’s. It was their mutual love of animals that brought Christina Bates into his life. After several years of riding the trails of Huspa together, they were married in early 2012, and she bravely shared his crazy adventures from then on.

Nick is survived by his wife Christina, step-sons Tucker and Taylor Bates, his brother Boney, sister Beth, step-daughter Lynne Dorsey, and granddaughters Laurel and Amelia – as well as the huge, extended Jones family.

Nick was an avid pilot, never using a car if he could use an airplane. He began flying in his early teens, always a daredevil, and inherently having “the need for speed”. He didn’t stop flying until he lost his medical at the age of 87. Nicks love of animals, provided a safe haven for any animal that came through the gates of Huspa. He led a rich and full life, never missing an opportunity to experience something new. Nick had an insatiable mind and unforgettable wit. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Memorial donations can be made to Maranatha Farm Animal Rescue Mission or Hospice Care of the Lowcountry.

Online Condolences

  1. Karen S Lovin says:

    Chris, Tucker and Taylor,

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you.