In Memoriam: Troyce Don Jones


Fred Haywood

Recently, we learned that our dear friend and colleague, Troyce Don Jones, died peacefully at his home in Rockbridge, Missouri, on 28 March 2018. He was an accomplished scientist and a true gentleman in all and the best that word implies. He was born 29 January 1941 in Birch Tree, Missouri, to Walter and Jennie (Holmes) Jones. He graduated from Birch Tree High School in 1959 and attended Southwest Missouri State University, in Springfield, Missouri, where he received a BS in mathematics in 1962. Troyce went on to graduate school at the Missouri School of Mines (now the University of Missouri at Rolla, Missouri), where he received an MS in applied mathematics in 1963. Shortly afterward, he arrived in Oak Ridge in a souped-up Ford with his beloved "Bluetick" hound. It was clear that fast cars and outdoor hunting and fishing were two of his favorite pastimes.

Troyce joined the Radiation Dosimetry Research Section of the Health Physics Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), run by John Auxier. This organization's research was carried out at remote field locations as well as the ORNL Dosimetry Applications Research facility, including the Health Physics Research Reactor. The principal research activity at that time involved the evaluation of neutron and gamma-ray spectra and dosimetry data from field experiments in atomic weapons and research reactor test environments at the Nevada Test Site in 1957, 1958, and 1962. These data represented measurements made inside individual rooms of Japanese-style houses built with material imported from Japan in 1957 and in similar structures constructed with wood framing covered with cement-asbestos board in 1958 and 1962. Data from these experiments were key in estimating radiation doses to survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. One principal objective was to determine shielding factors for typical Japanese houses. Troyce played a major role in determining survivor radiation exposure estimates considering shielding provided by a survivor's house as well as shielding by surrounding structures. These house-shielding factors were utilized by the ORNL team based on a survivor's known location, type of house and surrounding structures, and distance from ground zero.

Troyce's work during the last 15 years of his career may have been his most productive. He was lead or coauthor of over 21 peer-reviewed publications and presentations. As established in these papers, he and his coworkers described mathematical models for biological, chemical, and radiological intakes in order to optimize medical therapeutic protocols.

Troyce was active in the East Tennessee Chapter of the Health Physics Society (HPS) and served as its president in 1979. In 1980, he received the Elda E. Anderson Award from the HPS.

His work provided many opportunities to travel, including several months of research in Japan, a month at the University of Naples, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in England, and weeks in several European countries.

During his younger years, Troyce was an avid weightlifter and advanced to second-degree karate black belt. On his return from one trip to Japan, he stopped in Okinawa for a private visit with a karate master.

Troyce was united in marriage to Mariann Miller, and to this union one daughter, Julie, was born in 1976. Upon his retirement in 1999, Troyce moved to his little patch of this world near Rockbridge, Missouri, on Bryant Creek. There he hand-built his beautiful home and restored the land to native grasses and natural habitats. From his home he relished the gatherings of his beloved friends and always provided them with thought-provoking discussions, good food, and entertainment from his faithful dogs, Corgi, Poo, and Cleo. He is survived by his daughter Julie, nephew Mike Jones (Alton), many beloved friends, and former colleagues.

Troyce will be dearly missed, but his legacy will live on through the deep compassion and love he instilled in his friends.