YARMOUTH — Two candidates have shown interest in serving the remainder of a School Committee term left vacant by the Aug. 11 death of Philip Jones.

The town clerk’s office on Tuesday reported that former School Committee member Margaret Groban has returned nomination papers. Camilla Shannon, the wife of Town Council Vice Chairman Tim Shannon, has taken out papers, but hasn’t turned them in.

Nomination papers are still available and must be returned to the clerk’s office no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27. A special election to complete Jones’ term, which expires in June 2020, is scheduled for Sept. 10 with voting in the Community Room at Town Hall.

Superintendent of Schools Andrew Dolloff last week said the community is feeling “shell-shocked,” following the death of Jones, 56, after a brief illness.

Philip Jones, a member of the Yarmouth School Committee, died Aug. 11. Courtesy town of Yarmouth

A memorial service was held Saturday, with arrangements by Lindquist Funeral Home, including a web page where those who are grieving can honor Jones.

Dolloff said Jones’ death was “a tragic loss not only for his family, but for our entire community.”

He called Jones, who was also the parent of two recent high school graduates, “a wonderfully intelligent, thoughtful, and sensible gentleman. He was a real pleasure to work with. Maybe the most notable thing I will miss about Philip is his sense of humor and his ability to laugh at himself.  His dry, quick wit made an appearance at almost every meeting.”

“His role as a husband and father always came first for Philip, (and) in that sense, as in many others, he was a role model for how all of us should be,” the superintendent added. “I am not looking forward to our next School Committee meeting, as he has sat right next to me for the past five years, and I know I will feel this loss even more acutely when I look to my left to find he is not there.”

School Committee Chairwoman Ann Fleming also spoke fondly of Jones.

“Philip will be so incredibly missed,” she said this week.

“He was smart, funny, thoughtful, kind, insightful and a quiet leader of the Yarmouth School Committee. I can’t imagine our first meeting in September without Philip and his colorful wardrobe and (at times) language.”

Legally known as John Philip Alexander Hoblyn Jones, one of the tributes on the funeral home website called him “a gentleman, scholar and caring friend” who was also “a wonderful father, husband, brother and son. Philip was beloved for good reason.”

“He read good books, hated cheese and gave back generously to his adopted (hometown of) Yarmouth,” the tribute said.

Another contributor said, “In the few years I knew Philip, he impressed me with his kindness and congeniality. He was an active, engaged, and caring member of the Yarmouth community and a steward of the town’s impressive school system.”

And a local teacher said, “I loved running into Philip. He cared so deeply about kids and learning and his town. His loss leaves such a hole in our community.”


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