BETTY JONES OBITUARY
Dr. Betty B. Jones
Betty B. Jones, wife, mother, grandmother and friend died peacefully at home with family by her side on March 28, 2023. She was born on May 4, 1935 in Columbia, SC to William A. Brown and Minnie M. Brown. She was raised in Columbia and graduated from C.A. Johnson High School in 1952. She graduated from Hampton Institute (University). Betty’s first job post-undergrad was as a high school English teacher for one-year Warrick High School in Warrick, VA. She moved to Stamford, CT., and worked as a teenage Program Director at the YWCA in Greenwich, CT.
In 1959 she married S. Preston Jones and moved to Washington, D.C. She worked as a Program Director for Campfire Girls and as a Social Worker. She received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from The Catholic University in 1965. She had two children, Allen and Anthony. She moved to Midland, MI in 1968 and worked as a School Social Worker in the Bay City Public Schools. She earned a Master’s degree in Sociology and she received a Ph.D. in the joint program of Social Work and Social Sciences in 1981 from the University of Michigan.
She started teaching at Delta College in 1977 and was promoted to Academic Dean in 1984 and then to VP of Instruction and Learning Services in 1994. In 1984, while at Delta she helped to introduce a joint program with the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology. The program was established in Nakuru, Kenya in 1987. As a result of the innovative programs introduced at Rift Valley Institute they named their library “The Dr. Betty B. Jones Library and Media Center” in 2003.
While at Delta, she was awarded the Community College Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Sociological Association (1983). She was also awarded the Don Laughner Award for Creative Change (1991) and the ECAPS Award for Outstanding Leadership (2001). At her retirement in 2001, the S. Preston and Dr. Betty B. Jones International Scholarship Endowment was established at Delta College to support student experiences in International study and to honor Dr. Jones’s legacy in Global/International Education. To date, this scholarship has funded 13 Delta students for International service learning in five countries, including two teams of student nurses on assignment in Kenya and other counties. Other awards include Bay City NAACP Human Relations Award (1975); South Carolina Black Hall of Fame Honoree (1998); Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction, Mitten Bay Region (1999); Land Award for Excellence in Institutional Leadership (2005); Drum Major Award, Bay region, MLK Celebration (2015); Saginaw NAACP Heroine Award (2016). YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award (2019), ATHENA Award of Midland Business Alliance (2021), AFP Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year (2022).
Since retirement from Delta College in 2001, Dr. Jones has devoted her time towards her passions in her life – twin granddaughters Alyssa and Arianna Jones, travel, collecting art, reading and writing. Her books – “Stories of My People”: A Celebration of the African American Community in Midland, MI (1994) “Gifts From My Mother” (2013), We Are Family: Discovering Our Stories (2016), and “Pass It On” Sharing Our Story Telling Our Truth (2022).
Betty was a founding member of the Midland Black Coalition. She was Chair of the Midland/Gladwin Community Mental Health Board. She served as a volunteer consultant with Midland Public Schools. She was a co-leader and advisor of the King/Parks/Chavez Initiative between Saginaw Valley State University and Delta College. She served on the Midland County “Say Yes to Youth Task Force”. She was a member of the team for the Midland Team for the All-American City. In addition, Betty served as a member of the Adopt a Village in Guatemala organization. Served as a Resource Consultant for the Northwood University Creativity Center. Served on the State of Michigan Medicare Beneficiary Advisory Committee.
She has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for over 65 years and is a charter member of the Mu Alpha Omega Chapter in Midland, Michigan; a member of the Noon Rotary Club and the Midland County Historical Society of the MCFTA. She is also a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Betty Jones is survived by her husband of 64 years S. Preston Jones, her two sons, Allen Preston Jones and Anthony Paul Jones, and her two granddaughters, Alyssa Sundria Jones, and Arianna Jazmine Jones. Her brother, William A. Brown of Virginia Beach, VA, and nephews Shaun Brown, Michael Brown, Tim Brown, and a host of other beloved relatives and friends also survive her.
The family would like to thank Dr. Sasha Savage and his staff and the medical staff at MyMichigan Medical Center, the Staff at Stratford Pines, MyMichigan Hospice, and the staff at Right at Home Homecare.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the S. Preston and Dr. Betty B. Jones Endowed Scholarship at Delta College, 1961 Delta Rd, University Center, MI. 48710. Arrangements entrusted to Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Directors. Visitation will be on Wednesday, April 5, 3023, from 4-7 p.m. at the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home and at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Thursday, April 6, 2023, from 10 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m.
Published by Midland Daily News from Mar. 30 to Mar. 31, 2023.
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