God in his infinite wisdom called his son, Dr. Howell Thomas Jones Jr., of Petersburg, Va., home on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.
Dr. Jones began his final journey to eternal rest at the home of his daughter, Caroline, in Accokeek, Md. Affectionately known as "Doc" to his many friends and colleagues, he was born on Aug. 14, 1933, to the union of the late Howell Thomas and Annie Petty Jones of Raleigh, N.C. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mattie Marie Jones, and an aunt, Marie Jones Hill, both of Raleigh, N.C.
After graduating from Washington High School, he left Raleigh and attended Virginia State College, where he received a bachelor of science in music education and also was inducted into the Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. Dr. Jones received an honorable discharge from the Army in 1963. He later obtained a master of music in music education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. He then furthered his education to receive a doctor of philosophy from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. Dr. Jones served in the United States Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1963.
Dr. Jones accepted Christ at an early age. Upon moving to Petersburg, he became an active member of Gillfield Baptist Church, where he served in the Men's Ensemble. Dr. Jones was an avid fisher and loved the ocean, was a keen builder and an enthusiast of the outdoors. He loved his family and his "Home on the Hill" at Virginia State University.
Dr. Jones was also an instructor of music at Bennett College, Greensboro, N.C., Jackson State College, Jackson, Miss., and Tougalooe, Tougaloo, Miss. He then became a professor of music at Southern University, Baton Rouge, La., and had over 30 years of service with the title of professor of music with Virginia State University. He held many titles and a variety of positions at Virginia State University, but the most announced was the Distinguished Professor status that he held until his retirement in 2001. He continued as an adjunct professor until 2012.
Dr. Jones served faithfully on various university committee,s to include chairing the Inaugural Colloquia Committee on Teacher Education, the Festival of Arts Committee, the Commencement Committee, and the Honors and Honorary Degrees Committee. He was listed in the International Who's Who in Music and Musician Directory, and Who's Who in the South and Southwest Edition.
Dr. Jones met his wife, Bettye Wright Jones, in Ypsilanti, Mich., and they shared 56 years of marriage. They have resided in Petersburg, Va., for the past 41 years. Together, they have a lovely daughter, Caroline A. Jones, and one grandson, Matthew Thomas Jones. He, too, leaves to cherish his memory a host of cousins and devoted friends.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in the chapel at William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, at which time the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will conduct the Omega Ceremony. Services for Dr. Jones will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at the historic Gillfield Baptist Church, 209 Perry St., Petersburg, Va.; the Rev. Dr. George Lyons Jr., pastor. Interment to follow at Southlawn Cemetery.
The family can be reached at 804-526-6309. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the "H.T. Jones Music Appreciation Fund," VSU Foundation, P.O. Box 9071, Petersburg, VA 23806 (place fund name on memo line).
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the staff of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, 137 Harrison St., Petersburg, 804-732-7841. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit blandenterprisesinc.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2, 2014