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Willie (Tony) Atrice Jones
June 14, 1936 ~ July 24, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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Willie Atrice Jones, known fondly to his family and friends as "Tony," was born in Dothan, Alabama on June 14, 1936, to the late Douglas Jones and Fannie Mae Brown.
His work ethic was matched only by his deep faith. Tony accepted Jesus Christ at an early age and was a longtime member of Greater Beulah Missionary Baptist Church. His faith was a guiding light throughout his life, and he was actively involved in several community organizations, including Rose Hill Senior Center and the African Methodist Episcopal Church's Sons of Allen Men in Ministry. Tony found particular joy in serving with The Sons of Allen during their annual hosting of the Tuskegee Airmen for Black History Month.
Tony lived a life steeped in honor and dedication. He served his country with distinction, first in the United States Air Force and later in the United States Army, receiving an honorable discharge in May 1963. Following his military service, Tony worked two full-time jobs simultaneously with The City of Newark, New Jersey, and the United States Postal Service as a mail-handler, retiring from USPS in the mid-1980s.
Tony had a lifelong love of golf, sparked by his early years as a caddy at the Dothan Country Club. He often took his children to play golf at Weequahic Park in Newark and he was an ardent fan of Tiger Woods. Tony was also known for his love of church and estate sales, where he delighted in the thrill of discovering hidden treasures.
As 19th-century author George Eliot once wrote, "Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them." Tony's memory will live on in the hearts of those who loved him. His life was a testament to his faith, his love for his family, and his unwavering dedication to service. Tony's passing leaves a void that cannot be filled, but his spirit will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Tony departed this earthly life on Thursday, July 24, 2023; he was a loving, faith-filled, and selfless man who touched the lives of many.
Preceding him in death are his parents; two wives; and eight siblings.
Tony's legacy lives on through his children: Dwight A. Jones, Carmel R. Jones-Boyd and Richard D. Smith; his grandchildren: D'Andre M. Jones, Miles J. Smith and Lauren N. Smith; his great-grandson: Laurell L. Rodrigues-Jones. His honorary grandchildren: Kaireen Holiday and Lyle Hankins also held a special place in his heart. His special nieces and nephews: Mongolia Green, Sharon Jones Morris, Dan Sly, Jr. and Harold “Jackie” Jones; a vast number of other loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and friends; and his special cousin, Larry Curry. Tony's devoted friend, Joann Harris, will also deeply mourn his loss.
Willie Atrice "Tony" Jones was a beacon of light in this world, and he will be deeply missed. As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate his life and the countless ways he touched our lives. May his soul rest in eternal peace.