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Thomasville, GA - Harry Tudor Jones, Jr, 93, outstanding business and community leader, passed away peacefully on December 2nd in Thomasville, Georgia, after a lengthy illness. His contributions to the business and cultural life of the city were significant.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia to Catherine Wylie Roddey Jones and Harry Tudor Jones, Harry Jones Jr. spent his childhood there until entering college at the Virginia Military Institute. Upon graduation in 1943, he enlisted in the army at the height of World War II. After completing Officer Candidates School, he fought on the German front, flying a small reconnaissance plane (he named "The Georgia Peach" after his Thomasville sweetheart Celetta Powell) with the 413th Armored Field Artillery battalion.
Near Salzburg, Austria, his unit not only accepted the surrender of 50,000 German troops who feared capture by the Russians, but moved on to Dachau, where they arrived just as prisoners from that concentration camp were being liberated.
As soon as he returned home from the war, Harry came to Thomasville in April 1946 to marry Celetta Ransom Powell, his college sweetheart who he met while working the gate during the summers at Montreat, N.C. The couple began life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Jones earned his Master's in Business Administration (MBA) at the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. While at the Wharton School, he accepted an offer from his father-in-law, William J. Powell, for a position at W J Powell Company. Thus began a 50 year career in the company which, under his leadership, expanded to become one of the Southeast's major wholesale food distributors.
The essence of Harry Jones was his complete devotion to family, church, and community, with unswerving loyalty and humility to all. Throughout his life, Mr. Jones's integrity, honor, and commitment to excellence inspired his business associates and marked his commitment to years of community service. He was President of the Thomasville YMCA and the Thomasville Rotary Club. A member of the Archbold Hospital Board for 30 years, he also served as its Chairman for five years. He was on the founding Board of Trustees for the Thomasville Center for the Performing Arts and on the Board of Thomasville Landmarks. Mr. Jones was a Director of the Bank of Thomas County and later C & S Bank. In 1978, The Thomasville Chamber of Commerce named him Man of the Year, recognizing his extensive community service. His wife Lella was named Woman of the Year at the same time.
A member of First Presbyterian Church of Thomasville, Harry Jones served as a Deacon, Elder, and Sunday School teacher for many years. He was a longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Homes in Quitman, Georgia and the Board of Thornwell Homes for Children in Clinton, South Carolina. An avid golfer and hunter, one of his favorite pastimes was walking through the South Georgia woods with his best friend and brother-in-law, Langdon Flowers.
Mr. Jones' devotion to faith, family, community, business, and country earned him the love, admiration, and respect of those who knew him.
Survivors include his wife, Lella and children, Randy Jones, Margaret (Ves) Berry, Harry T Jones III (Holly), Powell Jones (Caren), Nancy (John) Fox. Grandchildren include: Andrew (Michelle) Henderson, Lauren (Brenton) Strine, Emily (Julian) Hutchins, Catherine Berry, Roddey Jones, Austin Jones (Eva), Laura Jones, Rebecca Jones, Christopher Jones, Mallory Jones, Madison Jones, Marshall Jones, Anna Fox, Jay Fox; and great granddaughter, Lucy Catherine Henderson.
Other survivors include his brother, Randolph Lee Jones, numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Mr. Jones was preceded in death by his daughter, Catherine Roddey Jones Henderson; his sisters, Perry Lee Jones Cumming and Catherine Jones Frith; and his brother, William Roddey Jones.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to: First Presbyterian Church, 225 E. Jackson Street, Thomasville, GA 31792 earmarked for the Evangelism Fund.
The Celebration of Resurrection for Mr. Jones will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday December 5, 2013 in the First Presbyterian Church with a reception in the fellowship hall following the service. His family will receive friends on Wednesday evening from 7:15 to 8:30 PM at the Garden Center located at 1002 South Broad St., Thomasville, GA. Visitors may sign the online register book at www.allenfh.com. Allen & Allen Funeral Home.
Allen & Allen Funeral Home
110 West Hansell Street
Thomasville, GA 31792
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 4, 2013