A celebration of the life and legacy of Mable White Jones will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4, at Mt. Zion C.M.E. Church, 414 East Union St., in Minden. Visitation and family hour will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 3, also at Mt. Zion. Interment will take place at Gardens of Memory Cemetery, 1527 Lewisville Rd., in Minden.
Mrs. Jones, 91, passed away quietly in her sleep on Friday, Oct. 27, after a two and a half year battle with cancer.
Mrs. Jones was born Aug. 12, 1926 in Claiborne Parish to two loving parents, Thomas White and his wife, Camilla Webb White. She was the eighth and youngest child born into the family.
When young Mable was only seven months old, her father died suddenly. The trauma of losing a husband and father knitted the family even tighter. They owned a cotton farm and worked together to face the challenges of the times.
Following in the footsteps of her parents and siblings, young Mable developed a deep love for God and committed her life to Christ, joining Union Grove C.M.E. Church in Claiborne Parish.
In school Mable stood out as an exceptional student. After graduating from high school, she entered Texas College in Tyler, Texas, where she continued to excel. It was there that she was initiated into the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which she has loved and served as a continuous financial member ever since.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1948, Mable moved to Minden, where she was hired as the librarian for Webster High School. In 1956 she chose to pursue a master’s at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She was one of the first African-American students to enroll at LSU and often shared stories of the difficulties she faced simply because of the color of her skin. When she completed her master’s degree in library science, she was the first African-American student in Webster Parish to have matriculated at LSU. She went on to achieve a Plus 30 hours of post-graduate work at various universities, including Washington University in St. Louis.
While already successful in her career in education, Mable reconnected with a classmate she had known as a child in Claiborne Parish. His name was Napoleon Jones, and he, too, was a well-educated and high-achieving teacher. The two married in August 1958.
The next July, the couple welcomed their first child, Daryl. Two years later, just one day after Daryl’s birthday, they welcomed a baby daughter, Alison. Then after two more years, the youngest in the family was born, Sharon.
Mrs. Jones loved to travel. Through her travels, she has visited nearly every state in the U.S., including Hawaii. She has also travelled to England, France, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas.
Mrs. Jones was deeply committed to the sisterhood and service of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was a charter member of the Minden Alumnae Chapter of the sorority and served in many offices, including president for many years. She has been honored at two national conventions for 50-plus stellar years in the sorority.
Since 1959, Mable has been a faithful and devoted member of Mt. Zion C.M.E. Church, where she has served as a Sunday School teacher, choir member, trustee, president of the Missionary Society and more.
Mable leaves many loved ones to cherish and celebrate her life and legacy, including three children: Daryl Jones of Minden; Alison (Angelo) Jones of Rochester Hills, Mich.; and Sharon (Darren) Gauthier of Oak Park, Ill.; a grandson who she reared as a son, Eron Jones of Minden; seven other grandchildren: Sharleah Williams of Carbondale, Ill.; Alexander Jones of Rochester Hills, Mich.; Camille Gauthier of Baton Rouge.; Karisma Jones of Baton Rouge; Austin Jones of Rochester Hills, Mich.; Carson Gauthier of Oak Park, Ill.; and Kanton Jones of Baton Rouge, La.; three great-grandchildren, Marinah Jones-Patten of Minden, La.; Maleah J’nay Williams of Carbondale, Ill.; and Ace Shakur Williams of Carbondale, Ill.; a brother-in-law, G.C. Jones of Riverside, Calif.; two sisters-in-law, Florence Jones of Houston, Texas; and Vickie White of Monee, Ill.; and a goddaughter, Ora Edmunds of Las Vegas, Nev. She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, as well as numerous great-nieces and nephews and many dear friends.
In loving memory of their parents, the children of Napoleon and Mable Jones are in the process of establishing an endowed fund to award an annual scholarship to graduating high school seniors in the Minden area. If you are so moved to contribute to the Napoleon and Mable Jones Memorial Scholarship, you may direct your donations to the following:
Napoleon and Mable Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund (Sharon Gauthier, Account ending in **3400) c/o Regions Bank, Branch #03002 200 Homer Road Minden, LA 71055