We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Whiting's Funeral Home
THE LIFE STORY OF HAZEL RUSSELL JONES
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed...” Prov: 31:28
Hazel Russell Jones received her Wings of Glory on September 17, 2022, at Williamsburg Sentara Hospital after a brief illness. She was surrounded by her loving children & peacefully transitioned to the New Jerusalem to live with her Lord & Saviour forever.
Hazel was 93 years old and a Williamsburg native & resident for most of those years. Early in her marriage, she briefly lived in Philadelphia, PA & in Atlantic City, NJ, with her husband and children.
Hazel was born to the late Leonard & Melvinia Scott Russell of Brickbat Road, which was often referred to as Jerusalem, in James City County. She was born on January 27, 1929 (at 12:05 a.m.), but always celebrated her birthday on January 26th. Hazel was the 7th of 8 children (4 boys & 4 girls). She was raised with sisters and brothers whom she loved dearly, spoke fondly of, always called, and visited them and their families throughout their lives.
Hazel, and most of her siblings, were home-schooled, self-taught, and full of “mother wit” and God's Wisdom. They were reared with Christian beliefs & values; and they were encouraged to Honor God, to be independent, respectful, and responsible individuals leading into adulthood.
As a teenager, Hazel accepted Christ as her Saviour & joined Jerusalem Baptist Church under the Leadership of the late Rev. Frank E. Segar. He was a visiting Preacher for the small congregation twice a month. Strong, old, and very weathered remnants of the (historic African American Church/structure) still stand and are quite visible during the late fall & winter months. (location: between Saw Mill Road & Mallard Lane on Brickbat Road in James City County)
Hazel often reminisced about her childhood days and the fun she had with her cousins & family friends who came to visit and play with her and her siblings on the weekends. (Margie, Edith, Ruth, Ethel, Doris, Clyde, Nathan & McKinley Armistead), Heroline Saunders and “Knocky”(Alice Pressey) Hazel said they were happy riding old bikes, playing with bald-headed doll babies, plastic tea cups, animals on the farm & they cooked up a storm with “mud”.
Hazel married the late Charles Henry Jones of Williamsburg, VA, and together they had five children. (Twin baby boys died a few days after birth because of No Incubator Access) ... And then she had HANK, TRENNY & COOKIE JONES!!
Hazel & Charles moved up North for a while, where Hazel joined a local church in “South Philly” and was baptized into the Baptist Faith.
Upon returning to Virginia with husband and children, Hazel immediately joined Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church under the late Rev. Milton R. Banks. She remained a faithful member of the church for over 68 years and a supporter of church ministries, programs & to each Pastor & First Lady installed over the years. Hazel truly loved her church family, Pastor Ronald Ellis, and First Lady Sharmaine Ellis, as they loved her too.
Before passing, Hazel had the distinct honor as “Mother of the Church” and was the longest standing & the oldest member there. She was soft-spoken, kind, humble & bold in the Lord. Hazel clapped, shouted & loved to get “her praise on.” She believed & trusted in the Lord.
Hazel's favorite sayings were: “I don't feel right when I'm not at church every Sunday.” “Dr. Jesus can heal without medicine” & “Any way you bless me, Lord, I'll be satisfied.” The only things she ever complained about were her “bad knees” and cold weather.
Hazel worked 31 years for Colonial Williamsburg (Motor House). She was a hard worker, dedicated, and enjoyed many friendships on the job. She had an unforgettable experience one summer with the friendly & very popular Children's TV Actor, CAPTAIN KANGAROO. He enjoyed his stay in her Section of the Hotel Rooms. He tipped her well and left a very nice note with Supervisor C. Sweeney thanking Hazel for the room upkeep & for her kind hospitality.
Hazel loved her Roland Street/Ernestine Ave & Ironbound Road neighbors and friends. She lived in the same house that she and her husband, Charles, purchased in 1955 until 2 months before her death. Hazel, especially, enjoyed sitting on her front porch “looking, waving, & smiling” at folks for hours, whom she knew and did not know. She liked people, loved riding out, and staying on the go. She enjoyed Bingo & Dominoes with the Sr. Citizen Programs thru the WJCC Recreations for approx. 25 years at the Longhill Rd & Parker View locations.
And Hazel absolutely LOVED HER FAMILY. Though later in life, she did not see many of them often, but she would ask about them, sit on the side of her bed at night, call out names, and PRAY blessings & healings in a small & quiet whisper for “my whole family and for the whole, wide world.” Hazel was faithful & consistent in every aspect of her life. She was Our Family Jewel and she was loved deeply!
Hazel was preceded in death by her parents, Leonard & Melvinia Russell, her husband, Charles, her infant twins, her grandson, Brian Canady; her sisters: Lavinia Saunders, Estelle Christian & Annie Mae Banks; and her brothers: Archie, Linwood, William & Robert Russell.
Hazel leaves forever & loving memories to her 3 children: Melvin “Hank” Jones (Myra) of Baltimore, Md., Rosalind “Trenny” Canady of Williamsburg, VA & Linda “Cookie” Thornton of Newport News, VA; 8 grandchildren: Stacey Gray, Tiffany Jones-Johnson, Myra Coleman, Philip Canady, Tondaleyha Wright, Dionne Canady, Dana King, & Glenmar Thornton; 16 great-grandchildren, 3 great, great-grandsons, and many, loving & caring nieces, nephews, cousins, her Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church family, neighbors, and life-long friends.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 23, 2022, in Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Livestream will be available at the beginning of the service. Interment to follow in the church cemetery. Mrs. Jones may be viewed from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home. Facial coverings are required at all services.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting's Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com