Donald Edward Jones of Gulf Breeze passed away at home on Monday, Dec. 19 at age 81.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Bess Orvis Jones; children, Melodee Allmon (Joseph), Matthew Jones, and Michele Jones; brother, Richard Jones (Anniece); grandchildren, Madison Allmon, Dylan Allmon, and Caroline Broxson; special sister-in-law, Maggie Griscom (David); and numerous nieces, nephews, and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Laura Ann Jones, and his beloved uncle and aunt, Lloyd and Clara Compton.
Don was born on Nov. 13, 1941 in Portsmouth, Virginia, and spent his childhood in several parts of the country before his father retired from the Navy in Pensacola. Don graduated from Escambia High School and Missouri Valley College, where he met Bess. They married on Aug. 6, 1966, in Kansas City.
A lifelong learner who was curious to his core, Don continued his education at Boston University's School of Theology and devoted his professional life to serving and helping others, first as a minister and then as a mental health counselor for more than 30 years. He believed in faith, family, and the true ability of people to learn, grow, and change for the better.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 11 a.m. at Rose Lawn Funeral Home in Gulf Breeze. Visitation with family and friends will begin at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don’s honor to Children’s Home Society of Florida, Southern Poverty Law Center, or an environmental conservation organization of your choice.