Mabel Jones

Obituary of Mabel Louise Jones

MABEL LOUISE SWEET JONES, affectionately called, “Louise” by family and friends, was born October 17, 1932 in Bainbridge, Decater County, Georgia. At Mabel’s birth, her mother, Polly Mae, was only 15 years old. Therefore, Mabel was adopted and raised by a distant, older relative, Lillian Sweet.

Mabel had many childhood memories. She attended the West Bainbridge Elementary/Middle School (grades 1-7) and Hutto High School for grade 8. She discontinued her education to assist her adopted mother with domestic work. As her mother cleaned homes, Mabel monitored the children, played games with them and prepared their meals. She remembered how she had to call the children Ms. and Mr. even though they were years younger than she was. In 1950, Mabel relocated to Rochester, New York on a cold New Year’s day. She lived on Breck and Henry Streets in the early days in Rochester.

Mabel had a heart for people. She was a joyful, energetic person with a beautiful, magnetic smile. She enjoyed interacting and creating positive and long- lasting relationships with others. In her early days, she especially valued family. Therefore, it was no surprise that she would marry Aaron Jones, Sr. in 1961 to helped him raise eight children. At the time, the oldest (Frances) was eleven and the youngest, (Laverne) was one year old. She brought a sense of unity, security and organization to the lives of her husband and children. She was protective of her eight children and cherished celebrations. For many years, the family came together for birthdays, weddings, family reunions, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. There were times when the first and second generations of Joneses over-crowded the Garson abode. One of her many passions was Bingo which she played at every opportunity and often won.

Because she was skilled in laundry, she landed a job working for Staubs Laundry on Main Street for about ten years. For a brief time, she was employed as a nurse’s aide, then she worked in the Film Department at Kodak Corporation for 23 years until her retirement. To supplement her retirement income, Mabel worked part time in after- school Program called the Southwest Area Neighborhood Association (SWAN) at Madison High School and Wilson Academy. The program provided opportunities to work with young people in arts and crafts and she accompanied them on various fieldtrips.

In 1970, Mabel joined the Order of Eastern Star. She had a very active life in the various departments. Over the years, she joined the following Order of Eastern Star Sectors: Daughters of Ruth, #83 (January 28, 1970), Armanth, New York 21 (June 1, 1971), Queen of the South Department (January 10, 1972), District 5 Marshal Council (July 13, 1973), Herione of Jericho (July 2, 1978). She traveled around the nation in her work with the Order of Eastern star, learning what she could about the places she visited. She held many positions in The Order of Eastern Star such as Chaplain, Marshal, Sergeant at Arms Coordinator, and President (beginning 1975) of District 5 Marshal Council for over 45 years.

Mabel took her responsibilities seriously as her duties demanded direction for dress protocols at District Annual and State meetings held over the United States, including the Bahamas. She chaired committees that sponsored many social events for the Marshals including cookouts, Christmas parties and Western Balls. Because of her efforts, she earned numerous awards, certificates and trophies for her dedicated service and leadership. Some of these included: the New York State Marshal’s Department Outstanding President Award (1999), The International Masons Order of Eastern Star (2002), The International Mason Order of Eastern Star, Community Involvement Project (2002), The Naomi Allen Award (2013), The Vera Styles Award (2014) and her most prestigious award, Daughters of Ruth #83 Mother Bessie M. Jackson Service Award (2007). Friends described her as a warrior. She especially enjoyed being Marshal because this position allowed her to “Police the Organization,” to keep law and order and ensure that parliamentary procedures were adhered to. Today, her granddaughter, Felecia, follows in herfootsteps as she embraces the Eastern Star membership.

Mabel was well known at Antioch Baptist Church. She believed in service to her church and community. On September 23, 2018, she was honored for her 50 years of service and later, she was an honoree for the Senior Ushers Ministry Great Lakes Annual Day. In addition, she held positions as Pastors’ aide, cook, server in the kitchen and became an usher. She once said that she joined the Usher Board because she liked the colors of the uniforms, blue and white. Today, we wear blue in remembrance of her. As an aide, she served Pastor Frank Cotton, Pastor Joseph Carter and Pastor James L. Cherry, Jr.

In her later years, she took advantage of the various volunteer programs for individuals over 60 years old. She joined the Community Place of Greater Rochester and participated as Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent. This experience provided an opportunity to work with children in schools or day care centers as a foster grandparent. As teachers provided daily instruction for children, Mabel reinforced skills and assisted with morning preliminary activities.

Due to illness, in November 2018, Mabel relocated to Maryland to live with her oldest daughter and her family. She was enrolled in the Howard County Aging and Independence Program for Senior Citizens. She participated in art/music classes, dance and exercise on a daily basis. She enjoyed the program, as it offered opportunities to engage and interact with others. God called Mabel home on Thursday, January 21, 2021. Her Maryland family finds peace in knowing that in her last days, they were there for her. Her Rochester family realizes that God is our refuge and our strength. Through our faith, we look forward to the day when sickness and separation will no longer be.

Mabel is predeceased by Aaron Jones, Sr (Husband), Aaron Jones, Jr (Son), and Barbara Jones (Daughter). She leaves to mourn Frances Jones Tolbert (Dr. Emory), Pamela Jones Kegler (Johnny), Donald Jones, Richard Jones, Patricia Jones Crenshaw (Walter), Laverne Jones Worth (Otha), her Order of Eastern Star Sisters, Antioch Baptist Church family and a host of nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren and friends.