James Edward Jones, Sr. was born on July 29, 1931 to Anthony Jones II and Addie Bell Stewart in Caroline County, VA. He grew up with his family on their land in Corbin, Virginia. He attended Union Elementary School and Union High School and was a member of Long Branch Baptist Church of which his father was a co-founder. As a child, his favorite activities were hunting, fishing, growing food in the family garden and exploring the woods. At Union High School, he was a double letter varsity athlete in baseball and basketball, and he graduated second in his class. Eventually, he joined the U.S. Army and trained as an Infantryman. However, once his military aptitude test scores showed that he had superior math aptitude, he was transferred to the Field Artillery and trained as a combat Artilleryman. In the Korean War, he deployed with his unit, the 424th Field Artillery Battalion to the Korean Peninsula and fought in several battles in support of US military actions. He was awarded several medals including the Purple Heart.
After the war, Mr. Jones moved to Washington, DC and worked for several government agencies and founded two business, a firewood delivery and custom carpentry business. During these early years in Washington, DC he played his beloved blues guitar around town and in several blues bands. Eventually, he would meet Ms. Katherleen Sturdivant who would become his faithful wife and companion of over 60 years. Their marriage produced one child, a son, Muai-Aakhu I (fka James, Jr.). They raised their son and Mrs. Jones’ four older children together as one big family. One of their favorite activities together was hosting large family dinners full of laughter. After their dinners, Mr. Jones would often entertain their guest with his blues guitar.
In the mid 60’s, Mr. Jones became a night supervisor at the U.S Government Printing Office, where he would eventually retire after 26 years of service. During the day, his carpentry business grew steadily and over the years, he developed faithful clients for his custom pieces amongst many of Washington, DC’s most prestigious families and organizations. In addition to being an avid fisherman, and hunter, Mr. Jones was also a lifelong expert gardener and raised many varieties of food throughout his life. He felt closest to God when in nature and amongst the growth of his garden. He often grew so much that he would simply give away this bounty to family and friends.
Mr. Jones was a man of discipline, character, consistency and kindness. He was a loving husband, a great father and provider. He was “Living Wisdom”, and we are forever grateful to have had him in our lives. We will continue his legacy.
A member of Saint Mary’s Baptist Church in Washington, DC, Mr. James Edward Jones was preceded in death by his wife, Katherleen S. Jones. He lives on in the hearts of his son, Muai-Aakhu R. Meskheniten I (Wordna); grandsons, Muai-Aakhu R. Meskheniten II, and RaMaaNu M. S. Meskheniten; granddaughters, Maatika U. Meskheniten, SaAnkhessa A. Meskheniten, and Yeshuna A. Meskheniten; stepson, William Sturdivant, his sister Elizabeth Young, step grandchildren, Elisia L. Mike-Harper (Larry), Dana Sturdivant Johnson (Lawrence), and Daniel Sturdivant, and a multitude of step great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors and dear friends. He was also preceded in death by his stepchildren, Robert Sturdivant, Luvone Sturdivant, and Mary Carol Mike; and his siblings, Anthony Jones III, Wilbur Jones, Lucille Jones Smith, and Marjorie Gahagan.
The interment will be at the Jones Family Estate, 4423 Fredericksburg Turnpike, Woodford, VA 22580.