Rufus Jones Sr. Ph.D

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Dr. Rufus Jones Sr., Ph.D., age 57, of Jefferson City, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, June 3, 2011, at St. Mary's Health Center, Jefferson City, surrounded by his family. Dr. Rufus Jones Sr., Ph.D. was born January 26, 1954, in Brooks County, Ga. to Mrs. Jewell Jones and the late Mr. John Jones. To this union, eleven children were born. At a young age, Dr. Jones accepted Christ as his personal Savior at Sweetfield Missionary Baptist Church in Quitman, Ga. In high school, Dr. Jones was state Future Farmers of America (FFA) vice president of the Georgia Association; top ten senior at Brooks County High School; Student Government vice president; president of the FFA local chapter; named Who's Who Among High Schools and a member of the Brooks County High School football team. Dr. Jones graduated from Brooks County High School in May 1973. Dr. Jones received a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Plant Science with a Soils Option from Fort Valley State College, Fort Valley, Ga. in May 1978. As a student at Fort Valley State College, he was on the Dean's list, was a member of the Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society, and had the highest academic senior average in Agronomy. Dr. Jones received his Master's of Science in Agronomy in August 1980 and Doctor of Philosophy in August 1982 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1982, he was employed as an Assistant Professor of Plant Sciences in the School of Agriculture and Home Economics at Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville, Tenn. He taught both Undergraduate and Graduate courses at TSU and was a member of the Graduate Faculty. His research work at TSU focused on the Biological Efficiency of Sweet Potatoes Grown Under Water Stress. He also supervised Graduate Student Research. Dr. Jones joined the Lincoln University Agriculture faculty in 1985 as an Assistant Professor of Agronomy. He later became the Program Leader for the Crop Science and Natural Resources Research Program and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Agronomy in the Department of Agronomy at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Dr. Jones' research emphasis was in the area of crop production and physiology. He has presented numerous scientific papers at Regional and National Professional meetings and authored and/or co-authored many scientific publications. In 1990, he was appointed Extension Administrator and Research Director. Other administrative assignments at Lincoln have included serving as Acting Regional Director of the Southeast Region Training Office U.S.A.I.D. and Director of Lincoln University's Cooperative Extension Programs. Dr. Jones was a tenured full Professor of Agronomy in the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Mo. He conducted research on the production and physiology of sweet potatoes and medicinal plants. Dr. Jones served as a peer reviewer for the Missouri State Experiment Station Research Review Board, member of the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee, member of the State Membership Committee of the American Society of Agronomy, member of the Government Liaison Committee of the Agricultural Research Institute, member of the Lincoln University President's Administrate Team, member of the Association of Research Directors, Association of Extension Directors and Board of Trustees for the Cole County Mills Tax, member of the Southern Region Administrative Council for Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program, member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and he served on a number of other important committees. Dr. Jones leaves to lament his passing a devoted wife of 32 years: Rita Vernice Howard-Jones; one son: Rufus Jones Jr.; his mother, Mrs. Jewell R. Jones; mother in-law: Nannie Howard, Ft. Valley, Ga.; three sisters: Mary Esther Wiseman and Lee Margaret (Don) Barron, both of Valdosta, Ga., and Emma (Jeffery) Holden of Chesapeake, Va.; five brothers: Lynn Leroy (Brenda) and Derrick Jones of Valdosta, Ga., Samuel (Evelyn) Jones of Decatur, Ga., David E. (Sallie) Jones of Shiloh, Ga., and Edward J. (Sylvia) Jones of Germany; sisters-in-law: Bernadette Jones of Valdosta, Ga., Andrea (Benjamin) Gibson and Sylvia (Henry) Harris of Fort Valley, Ga.; brothers-in-law: Jessie Howard, Kenneth Howard, Ralph Howard, Bruce Howard, and Clinton Howard of Fort Valley, Ga. and Calvin (Brenda) Howard of Perry, Ga.; four uncles: W. C. Jones of Madison, Fla., Joseph Roberts, Demetrice (Patricia) Roberts and Bartow (Lucille) Williams of Valdosta, Ga.; three aunts: Mary Lee Jones of Quitman, Ga., Mary Esther Hunter of East Elm Hurst, N.Y., and Carrie McKinney of Valdosta, Ga. Others cherishing his memories are a host of nieces, nephews, family and sorrowing friends. Siblings preceding him in death are: John E. Jones Jr. and Charles Henry Jones. Dr. Jones was also preceded in death by his grandparents: Emmanuel and Emma Jones, Rev. Lynn Roberts, Carrie and Lynnie Roberts; as well as one brother-in-law, Willie Wiseman. Funeral services will be on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at 11 a.m., from the sanctuary of New Life Ministries, 5651 Inner Perimeter Road, Valdosta, Ga. Dr. Angela S. Manning is the Senior Pastor. Elder Jack R. Brown will officiate and interment will follow in the Sunset Hill Cemetery. Public visitation will be today from noon to 9 p.m. Condolences to the family may be expressed by signing the online registry at Personal and professional services are provided by Godfrey Funeral Home, LLC.

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