Reverend Jessie Lee Jones, Jr., our beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend, transitioned to eternal glory on Thursday, April 14, 2022. Age 67 years. He was born on November 21, 1954, in Itta Bena, Mississippi, the second son, and ninth child of the late Deacon Jessie L. Jones, Sr, and Mother Ella V. Jones.
Jessie was a kind, hardworking, and God-fearing man. He was affectionately known as Jessie Lee, Uncle Jessie, Uncle Daddy, Rev. Jones, and by Uncle Suga as, Dr. Goat.
Jessie accepted Christ at an early age. He attended R. B. Schlater Elementary in Morgan City, Mississippi, Cooley High School in Chicago, Illinois, Junior Achievement program, and graduated from Saginaw High School in Saginaw, Michigan, Class of 1972. He attended Delta College and then went on to work at Eaton Manufacturing for over 20 years.
At age 15, Jessie joined Bethesda Baptist church under Reverend Dr. Nick Hall Jr. He joined New Mount Calvary Baptist Church a few years later. Reverend M.T. Thompson groomed him to become his protégé. In October 1976, Jessie received his license to preach. On July 20, 1980, Jessie was ordained as a minister by Pastors M.T. Thompson, John B. Worthy, and Ernest W. Bothuel. Later he rejoined Bethesda Baptist church, teaching Sunday School and Baptist Training Union (B.T.U.) and sang in the choir. There he served as interim pastor in 2001.
Sergeant Jones was honorably discharged from the United States Army National Guard in November 1986. He was a proud industrious man. He worked as a janitor for Reverend Hall, the Bavarian Inn Lodge, Meijer’s, and as a construction worker in Pennsylvania and the Upper Peninsula.
Reverend Jones knew the Bible from front to back, and back to front. He had a deep stern voice that commanded attention. He loved to hear his mother sing, especially before preaching. He started each altar call by saying, “It’s Prayer Time, God our Heavenly Father….” Jessie could preach and pray! He preached his last sermon, “What Do You Know” (Proverbs 4:1-7, Matt 6:25) on Sunday, February 13, 2022, at Bethesda Baptist church.
Jessie moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2014, where he spent quality family time with his sister, Annie, and nieces, Susann, Merisa, and Rose Marie. He was a faithful member and Sunday School teacher at Union Baptist Church, under Pastor Tim Lake, Sr., for eight years.
Jessie was not the youngest child, yet he was undoubtedly “mama’s baby!” His siblings will remember him as a kind, funny, and loving brother. They also recall how in his younger days, Jessie would easily bowl a 300 game, and for being a smooth dancer and skater. His siblings, Jones and Lee family (aunts, uncles, and cousins) meant the world to him.
Jessie genuinely loved his sons, Alaric, and Marcus. He became a loving father figure for Tony Johnson at an early age.
Uncle Jessie was a father figure for his nephews; Abraham, Kenny, Alvin, Calvin, Garrian, Omar, Elliott, and all other nephews when needed. He taught them how to drive, work with their hands, to be men of integrity, command and give respect, how to clean up (dress) and smell good for church on Sunday, and far much more. He was Scenacia’s (NaNa) Uncle-Daddy. All of his nieces and nephews loved and respected him, and will forever cherish the amusing, loving, and infamous “Uncle Jessie” memories. Every family has an Uncle Jessie, or two, if you know what I mean! Nobody could squint their eye and sternly ask, “What?,” like only he could. His favorite sayings were, “Drag It”, and “See, the thing about it is…”
Jessie Lee deeply loved his Aunt Vivian, as she was like a second mother to him. His joys of life included spending time with his family, attending the Jones and Lee family reunions, 4th of July at Poochie’s house, dancing, talking about God and the Bible, his church families, and all things Michelle Obama.
Jessie leaves to cherish his loving memory, sons, Alaric Jones, Orlando, Florida, and Marcus (Cyrena) Jones, Atoka, Tennessee; stepson, Tony (Moriah) Johnson, Fort Meyers, Florida; grandson, Mikaius Jones; siblings, James “JW” (Evelyn Scott) Jones, Sr, Tampa, Florida; Bessie V. Jones, Lessie J. (Jack) Williams, Sr., and Mary E. Burns, all of Chicago, Illinois, Annie O. Hull, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Eliza (Deacon Walter) Bailey, Sr., Chicago, Illinois, Ella M. Jones, and Emma R. (Roma) Edwards, both of Saginaw, Michigan, Merilyn Hall, Houston, Texas, and Esmond Hall; aunts, Pinkie Sanders, Chicago, Illinois, Alberta Austin, Gladys Lena Humes, Vivian Tarkington, and Tena (Willie) Bond all of Saginaw, Michigan; uncle, Davis “Suga” Lee, of Saginaw, Michigan; nieces, Susann Jones, Merisa Jones and Rose Marie Jones, all of Fort Wayne, Indiana; a host of very loving nieces, nephews, and cousins; including a VERY special cousin, Robert Sanders of Saginaw, Michigan; best friend, Noah “Dillie” Harris, Fort Wayne, Indiana; special friend, AIma Moody, Chicago, Illinois; many other family and friends.
Jessie’s parents, Deacon Jessie L. Jones, Sr. and Mother Ella V. Jones, sister, Johnnie Mae Simmons, brother-in-law; Deacon Grady Hull, aunt, Ora M. Loveless, and uncles, Reverend James Anderson Lee, Preston Lee, Benjamin Lee, and L.H. Lee, preceded Jessie in death.
The family would like to express gratitude to Anesha Stanley (niece), Pastor Tim Lake, Sr. and the Union Baptist Church Family, Bethesda Baptist Church and New Mount Calvary Baptist Church of Saginaw, Michigan, Ellis Funeral Home, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Ivan E. Phillips, and the Staff of Paradise Funeral Chapel.