On July 10, 2020 my grandmother passed away. Gran Gran graced the world with her presence for 96 years and, though her body was worn with age, her mind, her memories and her wit were sharp.
To me, Gran Gran, was a Renaissance woman. She could and did do it all. She challenged stereotypes and set her own narrative, leaving a rich and vast legacy. Of the many things she taught me, today I’m reminded of the importance of telling my story. Gran Gran was a treasure trove of stories, and she left nothing to chance in making sure that she told her own, leaving us the summary of a long, beautiful life.
And so I’m also reminding you, friends. Tell your story. It is important. It is needed. Someone is waiting to be encouraged, inspired, and to simply know they are not the only one.
Grief defies logic. It’s complicated and unpredictable. I’m riding its waves and sitting with its ripples. Remembering a life well lived. Refocusing the life I’m living.
“And I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13
Mrs. Nora “ Katie “ Rodgers Jones the daughter of the late Plent Walter and Addie Sumpter Rodgers, was born December 2, 1923 in Georgetown County, passed into eternal life and rest from her labours on July 10, 2020.
She accepted Christ as her personal savior at an early age. Her first place of worship was Jerusalem AME Church of Hemingway, SC. She attended Deep Creek Elementary School, finishing the 5th grade, then moved to Georgetown SC. There she joined Big Bethel AME Church where she worked as a junior usher and was a member of the junior choir. After graduating from Howard High School, she moved to Colombia, SC.
Affectionately known as “Katie”, her life was one of a servant. She worked diligently to prepare herself to serve and bless others by joining the US Cadet School of Nursing at Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital for four years. She was also affiliated with the Norfolk General Hospital while living in Norfolk Va. Mrs. Jones later moved to Wilmington, NC and worked at the Community Hospital where she met and married Marine Sergeant Alfonzo Jones. She then moved to Birmingham, Ala where she continued her work of mercy at the Jefferson – Hillman Hospital. She joined Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, re-dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized. There she worked as the Assistant Matron of the local Boy Scout Chapter.
Mrs. Jones then moved to Charleston, SC and continued her labor of love at Roper Hospital for several years. Upon moving back home she worked at the Benevolence Society Hospital in Kingstree, SC for six years.
After the closing of Benevolence Society Hospital, she was employed by Waccamau EOC Headstart for seven years, she then retired from public work.
Within the Deep Creek Community, Mrs. Jones joined Walkers Chapel Freewill Baptist Church where she worked faithfully as a member of the Senior Choir, Senior Sunday School Teacher, president of the YPCL, annual president of the YPCL, vice president of the Missionary Ministry, member of the Freewill Baptist Association, union and school convention.
Mrs. Jones was also the financial secretary and Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday School of her church. She worked as the secretary of the Deep Creek Community Center Association for years.
To her family and all others she came in contact with, she was serving, honorable, loyal, understanding, dependable and “fun loving”. Her love for life and living it to the fullest was contagious.
Left to cherish her precious memories, her husband of 67 years Alfonzo Jones, of the home, three sons; Alfonzo D. Jones (Daphine) of Goldsboro, NC; Norman Jones (Myrna) of San Tan Valley, AZ; Rayford G. Jones (Dell) of Columbia, SC; Six grandchildren, LaShona Sellers (Ronaldo) of Baltimore Md; Alfonzo D. Jones II (Gwendolyn) of Greenville NC; Donte Weaver of Johnsonville, SC; Latoya Stewart Chandler (Wali) of Hemingway SC; Kyuan Jones (Thuy) of Columbia SC; Matthew Jones (Faith) of Phoenix AZ; nine great-grandchildren, Dontravia Weaver of Johnsonville, SC; Alyssa Jones of Greenville NC; Ronaldo Sellers of Baltimore Md; Ja’Toria Bellamy of Hemingway SC; Joshua Jones of Greenville NC; Sydney Sellers of Baltimore Md; Kelsie Jones of Columbia SC; Hakeem Chandler and Zy’Keem Chandler of Hemingway SC; five sisters-in-law: Ernestine Garner of Louisville, KY; Hattie Stansbury (Walter) , Betty Marbury (Morris), Brenda Jones and Carolyn Rowser all of Birmingham AL; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and devoted friends.