Heartfelt tributes were paid to a “beloved” former chairman of Toyota who sadly passed away at the age of 82. Sir Alan Jones held the title of Chairman Emeritus of Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited while working at the Burnaston factory in South Derbyshire.
He was knighted in the 2005 New Year’s Honors list for service to the automotive industry and has been described as a “highly regarded” figure during his long career with the world’s biggest automaker. The grandfather of three and long-time Luton Town FC supporter sadly passed away suddenly on Friday February 25. Live reports from Staffordshire.
Sir Alan was one of the first people employed by Toyota in the UK at Burnaston in 1990, and was there when the first car rolled off the production line in December 1992. Paying tribute, a Toyota spokesman said said: “Sir Alan was a much appreciated and beloved figure here at Toyota and our hearts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
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Having previously worked for Vauxhall from 1958 to 1990, he was also well known in Luton and later Ellesmere Port. Having started his professional career as an apprentice with Vauxhall Motors, as he prepared for retirement, he embarked on the creation of engineering apprenticeships in the UK and was chairman of SEMTA (Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies).
After moving from the Derby area to Farnham, near Surrey, in 2017, the father-of-two joined Farnham Lions in 2018 and the community club has now set up a fundraising page in his memory. A team spokesperson said: “It left many people saddened and shocked by the loss of someone so committed to helping others with such a positive and positive attitude.
“He was helping others until the day he died and that is what he would have wanted. We sincerely hope that you will remember the happy times and memories you have of Alan. Alan joined the Farnham Lions in 2018, having moved to Farnham from Derby in 2017. Although he was not long with the Lions at Farnham, he was an active member and signed up to help with just about anything.
“He was passionate about giving young people the opportunity to be the best they could be and by putting in place the learning program which continues to go from strength to strength, he definitely did that. He was a good footballer from his earliest days. young age and a life-long supporter of Luton Town FC, maintaining a passion for all sports throughout his life.
“He enjoyed watching Aldershot Town play after moving to Farnham and was also a regular spectator at Aldershot and Farnham Hockey Club, where his daughter and family play. Helping young people get into the sport was another passion. He was even chairman of the swimming club his children were part of, even though he didn’t learn to swim until much later in life.”
Sir Alan’s family have requested that donations be made to the Farnham Lions so they can use the funds to support various projects he has championed, with the family contributing. Donations can be made by visiting fundraising site here.
A small funeral for family and close friends will be held at Guildford Crematorium at 3pm on May 29 with family flowers only. The family would like to celebrate Sir Alan’s life and would ask that no one wears black and instead wears something of his favorite color.
His funeral notice described him as a “devoted husband to Lady Jones, father of Catherine and Stuart and grandfather of Sammy, Penny and Athena”. Memorial services are being held in Derby and elsewhere later in the year and details will be released once confirmed.