Billy Lloyd Jones, watchmaker (age 82), died Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
Born September 8, 1932, in Greenville, he was the first born son of the late Larry and Doris Elks Jones. He grew up as the eldest of thirteen children (plus two step siblings) in a Pitt County farming family. After attending Pitt County Schools during this youth, he later earned his high school diploma from Pitt Technical Institute. Bill also completed watch-making school in Salisbury, N.C.
During his career he worked, first, for Barr Brothers in Suffolk, Va. and, later, for Lautares Jewelers in Greenville, before being self-employed as a jewelry and watch repairman. He worked out of his home for years where a steady stream of long-time customers dropped in to leave their cherished valuables for cleaning and repairs and to have a chat. Bill always kept close family members in watches and all his “girls” adorned with custom-made jewelry.
Throughout his life he loved the simple pleasures~ spending time with family, good country food (and lots of it), playing cards and fishing. Fresh fried fish was his favorite comfort food. As luck would have it, his wife was an exceptionally good Southern cook and knew just how to cook fish as well as most anything else. Bill was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church in Winterville.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two younger brothers, Frank and Larry Jones, and a younger sister, Joanne Oakley. He raised a family and shared his life for sixty years with his wife, Rena Bradshaw Jones, originally from Black Creek, Virginia.
He is survived by his devoted wife; his two daughters, Carol Jones Shields and her husband, Jimmy of Scotland Neck and Susan Jones Rodwell and her husband, Chris of Seven Springs; his only son, Billy Eugene (Gene) Jones of Greenville; two granddaughters, Brandy Shields Martin and her husband, Buck, of Louisburg and Dr. Morgan Rodwell of Seven Springs; one grandson, Zac Rodwell of Seven Springs; and three beloved great grandchildren – Coby, Carter and Cloei Martin of Louisburg. His surviving siblings include: sisters, Hazel J. Faulkner and Helen J. Stancill of Ayden; brothers, Ronnie Jones of Greenville and Linwood Tilman of Sneads Ferry; Jesse Oakley of Mesa, AZ; Charles Oakley of Greenville; Gene Oakley of Grifton; Garry Oakley of Montgomery, TX; youngest sister, Carolyn O. Ginn of Greenville; and a host of dear nieces and nephews.
Bill will be remembered as a good-natured man who loved his family and was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. His children will always smile when they smell Old Spice, remember the little brown bags of penny candy that he brought them or when they hear the endearment, “Shug” – which he often used for “his girls.” He will be remembered by his son as his best friend.
His children would like to thank their mom for her many sacrifices and loving devotion in being their father’s primary caretaker and personal nurse during the last years of his life. His family would also like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff at Our Community Hospital in Scotland Neck for their compassionate care to ensure his comfort during Bill’s last days.
A graveside memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the Baptist Cemetery in Scotland Neck. The family will visit with guests immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Roanoke River Partners, Inc. (PO Box 488, Windsor, NC 27983) or to the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are being handled by Letchworth Funeral Home in Scotland Neck.