Dallas banking icon George Jones passed away on May 21 at age 77. For most of the past year, he endured challenges caused by an illness—the exceedingly rare Vexas Syndrome—that had developed over the past 20 years. But, according to his obituary, no one ever heard him complain.
After earning his BBA degree from the University of North Texas, Jones, a Dallas native, enjoyed a five-decade career in banking, which started as a trainee at Mercantile National Bank in Dallas. He went on to become a senior officer at the bank. According to S&P Global Intelligence, as his career developed, Jones was, in succession:
- President and CEO of Texas American Bank of Dallas;
- President and CEO of NorthPark National Bank/NorthPark National Corp. before it was acquired by Comerica Bank;
- Organizer, shareholder and chairman of the board for Resource Bank in Dallas;
- Founder, president and CEO of Texas Capital Bancshares; and
- President, CEO and managing partner of CrossFirst Bank, as well as vice chairman of CrossFirst Bankshares
Jones also served for six years as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In addition, he was a graduate of, and teacher at, the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.
Jones capped his long, distinguished banking career leading Kansas-based CrossFit Bank and its expansion into the North Texas market. “After sitting on the sidelines for two years with good health, tremendous energy and a passion for banking, I discovered that I still have a strong desire to build something great,” Jones said when he was first tasked with building CrossFirst’s presence in Dallas in 2016, according to the Journal.
“Over the past five years, George’s leadership and guidance have played a critical role in our company’s success,” says Mike Maddox, CrossFirst Bank CEO. “We will continue to honor George and his legacy of incredible business acumen and passion for extraordinary service across our entire company and throughout our industry for years to come.”
Jones was a sportsman and athlete. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, and sharing those expeditions with close friends. He participated in marathons for 10 years, competing in cities all over the U.S. with very respectable times for a man who hadn’t been a runner in high school or college. His marathon years ended at age 49, perhaps when he began to experience issues with the disease that would finally take his life. Jones became a world traveler after his marriage to Miriam in the mid-1990s.
Jones was a member of the board of Caliber Home Loans, one of the largest mortgage companies in the country. He was a longtime member of the Park Cities Baptist Church, member of the Baylor Healthcare Foundation board, chairman of the Dallas Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and served on the boards of the Better Business Bureau of Dallas and the Citizens Council of Dallas.
According to Jones’ obituary, Miriam, his wife of 25 years and his “caregiver-in-chief,” provided tremendous comfort in addressing every challenge with remarkable strength as her husband’s condition deteriorated. In addition to Miriam, Jones is survived by his four children, as well as many additional family members and friends.
“He was a great person and good friend and very well-liked and respected,” Rob Holmes, Texas Capital Bank’s current CEO, told the Dallas Business Journal. Holmes was friends with Jones for more than 25 years.
“The evenness of his temperament, sincerity and soundness of judgment provided comfort to others who depended on him,” according to his obituary. “Harsh words, recriminations and avoidance of responsibility never happened! George had an uncanny, totally natural way of making personal connections with everyone he encountered—regardless of position—and his ability to do that engendered confidence, trust and devotion.”