Mr. William (Billy) Keith Jones, Sr.
Published 8:36 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Mr. William (Billy) Keith Jones, Sr. died Monday, September 26, 2022 at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. Billy was born in Warwick, GA on November 24, 1938 to Euna Verlie Gleaton Jones and Emmett Jerome Jones, Sr. He was the youngest of their eight children. He grew up in Warwick, Georgia, and had deep ties to the small rural community there. He was educated in the schools in Warwick, but his most practical education came from working on the family farm, helping run his family’s local grocery store (Jones Supermarket), and, as a student, driving the school bus. He loved to tell the story of how he met his wife, Mary Wright Jones, as he was driving his Ford convertible and eating peaches. They married December 21, 1962 and made their home in Warwick, where he continued the family farming tradition with his brothers Emmett Jones, Jr. and Buford Jones. Together, Mary and Billy raised two sons, William Keith Jones, Jr. and Laurence Kirk Jones. Billy was a Deacon at Warwick First Baptist Church, served on Warwick City Council, and was a member of the Lions Club. In 2006, Billy and Mary moved to Leesburg, Georgia to be closer to their grandchildren, but even after the move he was frequently in Warwick checking on the farming operation and visiting with friends. His signature beard and silver hair were recognized all over Worth County, and he always had a (exaggerated) story to tell and a twinkle in his eye. Every summer for over 60 years he looked forward to the annual Jones Family Beach Trip to Daytona Beach, Florida. The entire family and many friends would gather on the Florida coast for their week-long tradition of sunning, eating, and riding waves. Mary and Billy continued that tradition with their own family, and every year their grandchildren looked forward to the week at the beach with “Granny/Gigi and Papa.” That week was always the highlight of the year, and memories of those trips are referenced at every family gathering. Billy loved “piddling” in his yard, fishing at his pond, fish fries with his friends, but most of all, time he spent with his grandchildren. His legacy will live on with his grandchildren, Kayla Jones and her husband Topher O’Brien of Denver, Colorado, Gleaton Pace Jones and Cole Hamilton Jones of Albany. Papa loved his “Taterbug”, “Gleatio”, and “Coley Bear”. His presence will be missed at their ballgames and other activities, but especially at the beach trips. He was most proud of his two sons, Keith and Kirk, and his grandchildren, and one never spoke with him long without knowing of the pride and joy he had in each one. He is preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Florence Jones Wiles, Emmett Jerome Jones, Jr., James Buford Jones, Carolyn Jones Kennedy, Jacquelyn Jones Hancock, Frances Jones Whitfield, and Barbara Ann Jones Pate. He was also preceded by his furry companions, Zoe and Tilly. His family is comforted by the thoughts of the happy reunion with them in Heaven. Survivors include his loving wife of sixty years, Mary Wright Jones, his son Keith Jones and his wife Catherine, Kirk Jones and his wife Marlin, and grandchildren Kayla, Topher, Gleaton, and Cole. Kimbrell Stern Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will be held Wednesday, September 28 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the funeral home. Memorials can be made to The Humane Society of Lee County, Georgia.