While his exact date of death is unknown, it can be deduced to be somewhere in the late 1990s: He was still alive during the events of Expecting to Fly in 1996, but has been stated to be dead for 20 years by the late 2010s . According to Shelley Winters, he died during the first summer Tim was home from university, right in front of Tim's eyes, with the cause being spontaneous combustion.
Stan was a genius inventor, just like his son Tim - I fact, most of Tim's own inventions are based on Stan's old notes . Amongst Stan's inventions are a helmet that can be used to look into the future , and a cane for time travelling . He appeared to have used (uses? will have been used???) the latter for traveling forward in time and trying to prevent Tim from causing a destaster that he saw via his prognostication helmet. Tim though didn't know what's going on and probably reckoned his deceased dad visting and talking to him to be a hallucination or a ghost . Ultimately, it turned out that these appearances were made by Tim and Riley's daughter Scout traveling back in time from the future, so the fate of the actual Stan Jones is still uncertain.
Dates Scout has visited as "Stan" include:
- August 30, 2002 (When Tim was presenting his glow in the dark duck at a science fair.)
- March 27, 2003 (When Fallon Young was recruiting Tim for a spy mission against Dr. Daniel Petrescu in Romania.)
- September 21, 2004 (When Amy Chilton first noticed Tim's time travel teapot .)
- April 11, 2005 (When Tim was running for major's office.)
- May 24, 2008 (Around the time of the events that lead to the invent-off and Tim's subsequent exile to Wales .)
Due to his cane only being capable to bring him forward in time, one could assume that Stan didn't actually die in the late 1990s, but instead simply started his time journey and never came back. And this could then mean that this first time jump was what Tim actually witnessed and erroneously interpreted as "spontaneous combustion". This speculation is apparently unfounded, however, given the eventual revelation that the time travel was actually done by Scout.