Della Ruth Jones
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Mrs. Della Ruth Jones departed this earth on April 7, 2011 at Forrest General Hospital with several family members at her side. She was born June 21, 1928 in Leakesville, Mississippi to Daniel and Rosie Taylor who preceded her into Heaven. She was the 8th of eleven children.
Mrs. Jones attended school through the 8th grade in the Greene County Public School System. At that time, African-American children in the county received an education only through that grade level. However, from her earliest years, Mrs. Jones always had a great thirst for knowledge and wished to continue her education beyond the 8th grade. At the very young age of 15, she left her home in Leakesville and moved to Hattiesburg where she would complete her education through 12th grade, which she did at Earl Travillion Depriest High School. After completing high school, Mrs. Jones continued her education at Touglaoo College near Jackson, Mississippi earning a Bachelor's Degree in Education. After beginning her career as an educator, Mrs. Jones continued her education at The University of Southern Mississippi earning her Master's Degree. She later worked for USM as a student teacher instructor, preparing future teachers for their own roles as educators of America's young minds.
In 1952, Mrs. Jones married the late Robert L. Jones of Hattiesburg and to this union, four loving children were born. Robert L. Jones Jr. (Shenita), now of Atlanta, Kenita Williams of Hattiesburg, Elijah Jones of Hattiesburg and Keith Jones of Hattiesburg. Mr. & Mrs. Jones adopted their first grandson, Keith Bernard Jones, their fifth child who also lives in Hattiesburg. Mrs. Jones also counts among her children, a beloved niece and special "daughter", Eddie Dean Smith of Hattiesburg. Mrs. Jones first taught elementary school in Leakesville, Mississippi for ten years before she and her husband returned to Hattiesburg where she became a teacher with the Hattiesburg Public School System. She first worked as a teacher in Hattiesburg at the historic Eureka Elementary School beginning in 1961. Her career in education as a school teacher spanned several decades including years of teaching at Wathall and Grace Christian Schools. In 1979, Mrs. Jones became principal at Eureka and was also principal at W.H. Jones and Mary Bethune Elementary Schools where she retired from education in 1990.
In addition to her unselfish devotion to educating young minds, Mrs. Jones was a dedicated church-goer and loved spreading the good news of God's word. She was a member of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church on Mobile Street before later, becoming a member of Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church where she served faithfully until her passing. At Zion Chapel. she was an eager and energetic Sunday School teacher and often assisted in many of the church's special programs. In addition to her children, Mrs. Jones is survived by two sisters, Roslyn Sims, and Geneva Taylor, both of Leakesville, Mississippi. She also leaves to cherish her memory, twelve grandchildren, four great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews and her dear lifelong friends who she also counts among her family.
Funeral services for Mrs. Jones will be held at her son, Elijah's home church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Country Club Road in Hattiesburg, with viewing from 11:00AM until 1:00PM, Wednesday, April 13th and services beginning at 1:00 PM. Repast will follow at her home church, Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church on New Orleans Street. Services have been entrusted to Century Funeral Home with Internment at Highland Park Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Mrs. Jones' name to her beloved Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church in Hattiesburg.
Published in the Hattiesburg American on Apr. 10, 2011