Hardin “Hardy” Jones, M.D., was an eternally optimistic personality who, rain or shine, often remarked, “Today is a great day.”
Dr. Jones, an orthopedic surgeon whose second career as a “found art” sculptor brought public acclaim, died Dec. 28 at his Los Altos home after an extended illness. He was 71.
More than 20 of his metal sculptures can be found in the Los Altos area, most of them in front of school campuses. He used discarded metal parts to create an Egan viking, Loyola lion, Alta Vista Aztec warrior and other depictions of school mascots filtered through his playful imagination.
Family members described Dr. Jones as a “loving and beloved husband, devoted and playful father and grandfather, creative sculptor, talented surgeon and friend to all.”
Born and raised in Berkeley, he attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate and rowed on the 1964-1967 Cal Varsity Crew. He married his college sweetheart, Jane Bryan, in 1969. The couple moved to Cambridge, Mass., where Dr. Jones attended Harvard Medical School, followed by an orthopedic residency at Stanford University Hospital.
The young Bryan-Jones family purchased a home in Los Altos, where they have lived for 40 years and where they raised their two children, Katie and Bryan.
Dr. Jones began his orthopedic career as a staff surgeon at Kaiser Santa Clara and rose to the positions of chief of orthopedics and regional chief of orthopedics at Kaiser Northern California. An innovative and highly respected surgeon, he was admired for his leadership and compassion as a physician.
Dr. Jones retired from medicine in 1997 to pursue a second career as a sculptor. His pieces can be seen throughout Los Altos at every public elementary, middle and high school, as well as in public locations such as the Los Altos main library, restaurants and businesses. He was passionate about sharing his creative spirit with youth and his community. Dr. Jones was a favorite artist at the Rotary Club of Los Altos’ Fine Art in the Park show, and his pieces grace many private collections.
After a 2015 diagnosis of ALS, Dr. Jones took every opportunity to celebrate life. His ashes, accompanied by the ashes of his loyal dogs Curry and Gus, were scattered at sea at Pajaro Dunes, where his family had a second home for 25 years.
“Hardy was the love of my life,” said his wife, Jane Bryan-Jones. “I enjoyed 50 years with a courageous man who was always kind, always interesting, always off the beaten track, and who loved me and our children unconditionally.” A public memorial to celebrate Dr. Jones’ life is scheduled 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Garden House in Shoup Park, 400 University Ave., Los Altos.
The family requests that tax-deductible contributions be made in his honor to the Hardy Jones Memorial Fund at Alta Vista High School.
To donate, visit hardyjones.com/memorial.