Longtime Missouri Professor Dies

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COLUMBIA- Police say 83-year-old William Jones and his wife, 82-year-old Ruth Ann Jones died on Thursday.

Firefighters and neighbors believe both died from carbon monoxide poisoning although the cause of death is not official.

Jones was a long time English Professor at the University of Missouri.

"He was very nice and very pleasant," said Greg Mermelstein, a neighbor and former student. "He was very generous to his students. I think that's why people really wanted to take his classes and did so."

Mermelstein also said that Jones made Shakespeare easier to understand.

"Shakespeare can be sort of difficult to understand and he would make it come alive. He could talk about the meaning of the play and he could really engage in the subject matter," Mermelstein said.

Mermelstein's father also spoke kindly of Jones.

"We were acquaintances," Mermelstein said. "I saw him at the grocery and at the gym periodically. We were very cordial with each other."

Ruth Ann Jones also taught at Columbia College and Westminster College.