Eleanor Hughes Jones was born May 2nd, 1935 in Conway, South Carolina to parents William Durmie Hughes and Marva Lee Kissam Hughes.
Eleanor Hughes Jones was born May 2nd, 1935 in Conway, South Carolina to parents William Durmie Hughes and Marva Lee Kissam Hughes. As she was the only girl in the family, her three brothers affectionately called her Sister for the rest of her life. Eleanor grew up in the beautiful Charleston and Johns Island, SC. At a young age Eleanor was athletic, competitive and loved music. She was proud to have played 4 years on her high school basketball team that went on to undefeated seasons and 4 straight state championships. After high school she attended Campbell College on a music scholarship and played on the women’s basketball team. It was at Campbell that she met her husband to be, James Robert “Jim Bob” Jones, who played on the men’s basketball team. Following graduation Jim Bob and Eleanor were married and moved to Havelock, NC. While Jim Bob worked at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Eleanor began teaching piano lessons to local children. She continued to teach piano for the next 60 years to more than 2000 students.
Eleanor was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church of Havelock, serving in many roles including a Deaconess, Sunday school teacher, and youth group leader. She served as the organist for 61 years. She was also an active member of the Atlantic Baptist Association especially dedicating time to the County Fair and Christian Singles Ministries.
An active and proud mother of four boys, Eleanor could be found on the sidelines with Jim Bob cheering for multiple Havelock football, basketball and baseball teams through the years and later traveling to support her boys’ college teams across the state.
Eleanor was known to her seven grandchildren as Nana, Blue Ma and Honey. Always eager to celebrate and support the grandchildren whenever she could, she happily volunteered in schools, attended activities, recitals, graduations and games for more than 30 years.
Eleanor never met a stranger and liked nothing better than getting to know people and learning their stories. She loved a good reception, shower or wedding, having played piano for many couples throughout the years. She enjoyed gardening and the rewards of canning and cooking homegrown vegetables. A jar of sweetened pears from her own backyard tree were a coveted prize for her family and friends. An avid reader of cookbooks, she enjoyed watching cooking shows and trying new recipes. But it was her vegetable soup, fried okra and macaroni and cheese that her grandchildren most requested.
Eleanor loved lighthouses and the beach and spent many summers enjoying her family at her home in Atlantic Beach. She liked nothing more than sitting in the porch swing and watching the ocean, a glass of iced tea in hand.
Eleanor’s strong faith and love of God gave her strength through the years and most recently as she battled illness and declining health. She passed away quietly on Monday, January 15th at Crystal Bluffs Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Morehead City, holding the hand of her son.
Eleanor is preceded in death by her parents and husband. She leaves behind her four sons, Curtis Jones and wife Penny of Holly Springs, David Jones and wife Dianne of Mooresville, William Jones and wife Darleen of Morehead City, and James Earl Jones and wife Sherry of Greenville; Grandchildren Cameron, Spencer, Landon, Parker and Riley Jones; Nathan Jones and wife Bethany, Ashley Jones Moore and husband Justin. Great-grandchildren Jordan and Jaden Jones and Emerey Smith. She is also survived by her twin, Elmond “Jakie” Hughes, and brothers Durmie and Luther Hughes, their spouses and families, and many nieces and nephews in the South Carolina area.
Family visitation will take place at the Pollock-Best Funeral Home, 2015 Neuse Boulevard, New Bern, at 9:00 am on Friday, January 19, followed by a funeral service at 10:00 am and graveside service at 11:00 in the National Cemetery in New Bern.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to First Baptist Church in Havelock, 111 Hollywood Boulevard, Havelock, NC 28532.
Online condolences may be directed to www.pollockbest.com.