Jonnie Mae Jones
Birth Date: January 12, 1927
Death Date: June 29, 2015
Jonnie Mae Jones
Jonnie Mae Jones was born January 12, 1927 in Miami. She received her education in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Graduating from Booker T. Washington Jr. High School in 1945. Jonnie Mae refused to be tracked into a secretarial career as advised by her high school counselors. Being an independent and determined teen-ager she wanted to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse.
Jonnie Mae left Miami to venture out to Columbia, South Carolina to attend the Good Samaritan-Waverly Hospital School of Nursing. She completed the three year General Course in the Theory and practice of Nursing and was awarded her diploma on September 2, 1948. The hospital was the only training facility exclusively for black nurses in Columbia and served as an alternative institution for black residents during the Jim Crow era. She received her first RN license in South Carolina.
In 1948, she began working as a RN at the Community Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. While living in Norfolk she met the “handsome”, “good looking fella – his words” James Jones at a United Servicemen’s Organization (USO) dance. James was stationed at the US Naval Air Station in Norfolk. They were married October 26, 1949. James passed on their 63rd wedding anniversary in 2012. To this union, two children were born, Joyce and Janet.
During James’ military career, the family lived in Brooklyn, New York; Hutchinson, Kansas; Great Lakes, Illinois and San Diego, California. While her husband was serving his country during war time she continued to pursue her career as a RN. Obtaining additional RN licenses in Illinois and her final RN license in California in 1962. She worked at the Paradise Valley Hospital in National City near San Diego. After James retired from the Navy, the family relocated to Sacramento and she began her career at Sutter Memorial hospital in the early 1960’s as a medical surgical nurse and later as a psychiatric nurse. She retired from her nursing career the mid 1980’s.
The foundation of her Christian walk began as a child where her family was a member of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church of Coconut Grove, Florida. She became a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church after attending bible studies in the 1950’s. Upon moving to Sacramento in 1964, her membership was transferred to Capitol City SDA church where she was a faithful member. Volunteering to serve as a member of the Dorcas committee, Sabbath school teacher and an instructor for the Revelation Series.
Jonnie Mae was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association – Branch 69 serving as secretary for a term. She loved to sew, crochet and cook. She was famous for her lemon bars and won a baking prize in one of the Women magazine’s in the 1970’s. She continued her “celebrity status” by having her picture included in an article in Black Enterprise on Entrepreneurship
In November 2009, she relocated to Long Beach, California to live with her daughter Janet and son-in-law Charles.
Early Monday morning, June 29, 2015 she transitioned into the presence of God. Preceding her in death are her parents, brother Willie Brown Jr., daughter Joyce Leslie and husband James Jones. Left to cherish her memory are her daughter Janet Turner (Charles) of Long Beach: three grandchildren, Ronald D. Leslie Jr., (Jennifer), Dyshay Leslie, Nicole Leslie of Sacramento, California: seven great grandchildren Devyn Leslie, Patrice Hancock, Zsnai Leslie, Asia Hunter, Jayden Leslie, Dion Hunter and Aletha Singleton and one great great granddaughter Tianna Carmichael all of Sacramento. Her special sister Lucille Williams: niece Barbara Steen and nephew Reggie Williams of Camarillo, California and Steven Williams of Valencia, California along with a host of other family and friends.