Graveside services for Mr. Robert ‘Bill’ Jones, age 96 of Long Branch were held Saturday, May, 23, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Rusk County Memorial Gardens, Henderson. Burial will follow under the direction of Garmon Funeral Home.

Robert ‘Bill’ Jones was born 25 July 1923 to the late Wade Hampton Jones and Rosa Jones, in Long Branch, Texas.  His father was born the year before the Civil War and died early in his life so Bill was raised by his mother along with three brothers and three sisters, on a farm ranch in Panola County, where he learned the values of hard work and responsibility.

 Robert’s adherence to that which is true, helped him to develop a strong wisdom and knowledge of most everything, from raising cattle and crops, to canning and preserving foods and jellies and even how to turn a planted seed into a deliciously cooked meal on the table. He could walk through the woods naming most every plant, shrub, and tree and knew the wild ways of all God’s East Texas creatures in the woods as a hunter.

Robert received his first 10 years of public school education in Panola County and graduated Center Point HS in Camp County, Texas.

He then attended Prairie View A&M University before enlisting in the US Army Reserves, and served 3 years of active duty combat in the 777th Field Artillery Negro Battalion, during WWII in Europe.  He   developed leadership skills and technical knowledge with his ballistic skills on the 4.5inch gun, that allowed him to meet General Patton twice, who offered him the honor of tank commander in his 761st “Black       Panther” Negro Tank Battalion.

After the war, Robert continued his college education, studying political science, government, economics, and history.  He then moved to Houston Texas to apply his worldly knowledge, joining Maxwell House  Coffee as an engineer operator, to initiate many industrial innovations.  This gained him the attention of    corporate headquarters in White Plains New York. He took Selma Brown of Pittsburg, Texas as his wife, who bore him five sons, and worked at Maxwell House 36 years before retirement.

Robert returned to ranching and farming on his land also dedicating his time to Christ in rebuilding and serving Union Murvaul Presbyterian Church, as an Elder. He served as the Chaplain in the American Legion Post 844 and belonged to VFW Post 5620. He also had been a Master Mason in his father’s Silver Square Lodge #330.

Robert became a well liked patriarch and pillar of his community, known for his photography, pickled beets, pickled cucumbers, and bowling. He stayed active until he expired on 11 May 2020.

Another historian has now passed on.

Robert was preceded in death by his father and mother, brothers, Albert and Casey, and sisters, Sydney, Bertha, and Trudy.

Robert is survived by his brother, Don Jones, cousins, Minnie Devereaux (Ceicel) and Emma Pellum (JB); his sons, Gregory Anthomy, Kenneth Ray, Carl Wade, Noel Vaughn and Robert Brian (Jackie); lovely granddaughters, Kiana and Mary; nephews, Larry (Beverly) and Heinrich (Debora); nieces, Donna and Cheryl (Rufus);  many other relatives; brotherly friend, Tim Leggett; godson, Joey Kyle; and Darrell Benford.

Public viewing for Mr. Jones was held Friday, May 22, 2020 from 1-7 p.m.

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