Ray Jones

By  | January 20, 2023 | Filed under: Laughlin Service Funeral Home, Obituaries

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Ray Jones went to be with his Lord and Savior on January 17, 2023, at the age of 91. He died peacefully at Huntsville Hospital Hospice Family Care in Huntsville, Alabama, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren. Ray was born on November 29, 1931, in Wilmington, North Carolina to Charles Allen Jones, Sr., and Alice Elizabeth Carter and was the first of eleven children.

While attending Lanier High School in Macon, Georgia, he joined the National Guard of Georgia – 48th Infantry Division Band when he was 16. After graduation from high school in 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served during the Korean War from 1950 through 1954 as a quartermaster on the USS Cape Esperance aircraft transport carrier and the USS Mazama ammunition ship. After his Navy service, he worked at Armstrong Cork in Macon, Georgia, and a year later became a civil servant at Warner Robins Air Force Base. In 1963 he transferred from Georgia to the U.S. Army’s Defense Industrial Plant Equipment Center in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1968 he transferred to Huntsville, Alabama, in support of the U.S. Army’s SAFSCOM and BMDSCOM. He retired after 37 years of government service in 1982. After his retirement, he became a realtor for REMAX Martha Webster for 10 years – specializing in rural properties, and for more than two decades, played taps at hundreds of military funerals as a member of American Legion Post 0237.

Ray was an active member of the Salvation Army from a youthful age. As a musician, he started his first Salvation Army Corps Band in Macon at the age of 14. Years later he became Bandmaster at the Salvation Army Ben Lear Citadel Corps in Memphis, TN. After transferring to Huntsville, he started a brass band at the Salvation Army Huntsville Corps, and later helped organize Explorer Post No. 4, which was the first Boy Scouts of America co-educational explorer post to specialize nationally in music. Teaching children and adults to play brass instruments and developing and conducting brass bands was his life’s passion. Additionally, Ray was an active member of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church family. Ray will be remembered as a devoted Christian, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and true patriot.

His favorite pastime was being a kid with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always creating games to “lose” the dollar in his pocket, and always had a smile on his face. He enjoyed RV’ing with grandkids, riding them around a campground on a bicycle, gardening, and being outside.

Ray is survived by his wife, Elsie, the love of his life for nearly 70 years; siblings, Janice Howard, Joe Jones, Pat Wright, and Sherry Trotter; children, Edwin Jones (Mary), David Jones, Cherry Keeton (Bruce), and Cyndy Sarkisian (Colt). He is also survived by his seven grandchildren, Lucy Tufts (David), Julie Armstrong, Andy Jones (Lizzie), Melody Rae Young (Matt), Ryan Hovik (Beka), Jade Jones, and Sam Sarkisian; and great-grandchildren, Abbie Tufts, Sally Tufts, Walter Jones, Arabella Armstrong, Elliott Jones, and Ray Young. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Alice Jones; and siblings, Rachel Jones, Barbara Jones, Edelweiss Thames, Sylvia Wells, Curtis Jones, and Charles Jones, Jr.

Ray’s funeral and celebration of life will be held at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville on Saturday, January 21st.

Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the funeral at 10:30 a.m., with Dr. David Freeman officiating. Burial will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Honoring Veteran Legacies (honoringveteranlegacies.org/donate), Weatherly Heights Baptist Church, or the Salvation Army.

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