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Mrs. Alice Butcher Jones, 98, of 1018 W. Wythe St., Petersburg,Va., departed this life on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at her residence. She was born March 8, 1915, in Petersburg, Va., the last of 12 children, to the late Joseph E. Butcher and Ruth Ella Duncan Butcher.

She accepted Christ at an early age, as she joined and was baptized at Gillfield Baptist Church. She attended public school in the City of Petersburg, graduating from Peabody High School and then matriculated at Virginia State College for Negroes, now Virginia State University. As a home economics major, and science minor, she graduated with honors in 1937. While at VSC, she was a founding member of the 1937 founding chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., which was formed out of the Home Economics Department.

Upon graduation, Mrs. Jones continued to uphold the name of the family business, Becky's Coffee Shop, as she joined with her sisters and brothers in one of the first black-owned restaurants in the Tri-Cities Area. Additionally, she was a public school teacher in the Petersburg School System, Wakefield and Waverly School districts of Sussex County, Va., teaching home economics and science, until her retirement in 1977. She believed in demonstrating with excellence and in the value of education, and did everything within her power to present opportunities for learning through at home tutoring, financial assistance, and even providing room and board for college students attending Virginia State University. Her example was to do and be your best, at all times. Each moment was a teachable moment, and being grammatically correct was mandatory in her presence.

As a devout member of Gillfield Baptist Church for more than 85 years, she taught Sunday school and was an active member of the Missionary Society. She loved children, and always opened her home to everyone for a meal, counsel and even a place to stay. She was known for saying, "The door is always open, just come on in." She was a woman of great wisdom and in her own quiet, serious way, poured wisdom into all who were in her presence.

She had many happy years of marriage, with the late Master Sgt. Willie N. Jones, and was blessed to be "Mama" to one birth child, Ruth Duncan. She loved her daughter, and took pride in being a mother and exposing her to many educational opportunities, especially those in the area of fine arts. She lived her life to make life better for her family.

She loved her grandchildren, Dawn, Maurice III, Joi, Parris and Josh, and especially her only great-grandchild, Baby Paris, as she affectionately called her. Baby Paris, being the only great-grandchild, quickly tagged Grandma with the name GiGi, of which all children, young and old now call her.

While at home, Alice Jones was a gardener and an avid reader. She loved her flower gardens, rose bushes and the amaryllis flower. As a reader, she loved to read novels written by Danielle Steel. Most especially, she loved to read her Bible and hymnal, and firmly stood on the promises of God; her favorites being John 3:16, The Lord's Prayer, the 23rd Psalm, and Oh How I Love Jesus. Minutes before departing this life, she was sitting in her favorite spot in her living room, reading her Bible, singing hymns and speaking words of wisdom. Afterwards, Alice Butcher Jones, retired to her bed, and within minutes had taken the hand of Jesus.

She is preceded in death by her husband, retired Master Sgt. Willie Norris Jones; brothers, Thomas Butcher, Joseph E. Butcher, Clarence A. Butcher and Russell Veals; sisters, Agnes Butcher Morgan, Ruth Butcher Royall, Rebecca Butcher Prout, Gertrude Butcher Edwards and Mary Liza Ison; one niece, Muriel Butcher Dickens; one nephew, Robert Butcher; and a goddaughter, Annie Sellers.

She is survived by a loving and devoted daughter and caretaker, Mrs. Ruth Jones Maclin and devoted son-in-law, Mr. Hermon L. Maclin Jr.; five loving and devoted grandchildren, the Rev. Dawn D. Bowles of Huntsville, Ala., the Rev. Maurice H. Bowles III, Ms. Joi O. Bowles, Mr. Parris J. Bowles and Mr. Joshua Z. Maclin; one loving and devoted great-grandchild, Little Miss Paris Jae Bowles; nieces and nephews, Parnell Butcher of Richmond, Va., Valicia Butcher of Cleveland, Zondra Dickens and Micheal Dickens, both of East Orange, N.J., Irma Butcher of Greenbelt, Md., Jacqueline Butcher Brown of Las Vegas, Quentin Butcher of Upper Marlboro, Md., Gregory Butcher of Florida, Shirley Ison-Newsome of Dallas, Mildred Jordan, Shelly Jordan and Andre Jordan, all of Norfolk, Va., Robert Johnson and William Johnson, both of Philadelphia, Mary Jones of New York, Evelyn Veals, Russell Veals Jr., Jerome Veals, Laverne Venable, Gloria Cooksey, Sherri C. Hobbs; one devoted and loving niece, Tanya D. Cooksey; and a host of great-nieces and nephews; cousins, Oriette Bellamy, Laurenda Davis, Laverne Lightfoot, Sherly Bailey, Annette D. Rose and Ann Moore; devoted godchildren, Sharon Vincent, Albert Vincent Sr., Phyllis Walker, Shelly Sullins, Izon Revish, Trina Barnes and Ruth Speight; devoted godgrandchildren, Veronica Roach, Darnell Spicely, Malik Ragland, DeErica Slayden, Zachariah Lincoln, Darrin McCall, Susan T. Baldwin, Kyle Gordon, Carnita Stewart, Cardell Mosley, Michelle Cheatham, Derrick Bradford, Darrell Bradford, Patrick D. McCoy, Zion Charity, Albert Vincent Jr., Maurice Vincent Nicole Webster, Candice, Carmen and Rachel Reed, and Kendal Fisher, and a host of others; devoted caretakers, Carnita Stewart, Gwen Lauderdale, Doris Salter, Cierra Lundy, Teresa Clemmons, Shawna Williams, Molly Hall and Yvonne Smith; a devoted friend and godsister, Dr. Virgie Binford; and devoted friends, Mrs. Emma Cross, Alice Bowles and the Rev. Ora Peterson; and devoted soror, the Rev. Ruth Bethune; along with a host of family members and friends.

Services for the Mrs. Alice Butcher Jones will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, at Little Church Street Cemetery, Mingea Street, Petersburg, Va.; the Rev. Dr. George W.C. Lyons Jr., pastor of Gillfield Baptist Church, Petersburg, Va., eulogist.

The family will receive friends at 1018 W. Wythe St., Petersburg, Va., and may be contacted by calling 804-712-2637.

Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Mrs. Jones at

Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va., 804-732-8911,
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J M Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc.
102 South Avenue
Petersburg, VA 23803
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Published in The Progress-Index from Dec. 21 to Dec. 24, 2013
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