Horizon House Blog

Resident Focus: Floyd Jones & Grant Hildebrand

Floyd Jones, the “unusual philanthropist” and Grant Hildebrand, the “uncommon author” are Horizon House residents; both are exceptional embodiments of our goal to “live creatively.” The following is a brief overview of Grant’s book, An Unusual Philanthropist, the Legacy of Floyd Udell Jones, as well as the lives of these two men.

The introduction tells us, “Floyd Udell Jones was born into poverty, one of twelve children of an Arkansas cotton sharecropper. Through much hard work, and a clear vision, he became a millionaire a hundred times over. Yet he decided early on, with encouragement from his beloved wife Delores, that his life would be dedicated to philanthropy. He has used his wealth, almost all of it, for improvement of the community rather than for personal luxury, and he continues to do so.”  Early on—and to this day—Floyd has supported KCTS television, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Unitarian Church, the Rotary Club, the Union Gospel Mission, numerous educational scholarships, and individual writers and artists, to name just some of his causes. As the years go by and the Floyd Jones Foundation grows, we learn of major gifts to the Virginia Mason Cancer Center, the Floyd and Delores Jones Pavilion at Virginia Mason Hospital, the extensive renovation of the University of Washington’s Floyd & Delores Jones Playhouse, and the creation of the splendid Stanwood/Camano Island YMCA – the community where Delores’s grandparents settled more than 100 years ago and Floyd still has a beach property. This architectural legacy is stunningly photographed by Kevin Scott. Chris Burnside designed the book.

Few authors could be better suited to the material than Grant Hildebrand. Following undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture at the University of Michigan and seven years of private practice, Grant held a professorship of architecture at the University of Washington for 40 years, receiving the school’s prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award in 1975. In 2000, he also received the Governor’s Award of Literary Merit and Lasting Value for Origins of Architectural Pleasure. The book on Floyd Jones is Grant’s twelfth. When asked why this book and why now, Grant mentioned that he had gotten to know Floyd and his close friend Alene Moris as fellow residents at Horizon House, that he had come to admire Floyd, and that he wanted to illustrate his inspiring life. Work began last July and just recently concluded. Floyd and Horizon House hold the copyright on An Unusual Philanthropist. The book is privately published and thus not available commercially. It is available, however, through Grant Hildebrand for a suggested donation of $30 – proceeds to benefit the Horizon House Employee Education Fund.

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