LELAND — Eugene Hayes Jones graduated to heaven surrounded by his family Sunday, March 14, 2021. After kicking stage IV lung cancer into remission, he began another battle for his life when he tested positive on Jan. 28 for COVID-19. A long, valiant battle ensued, but a body can only take so much, and his dream of meeting his Creator and his Savior became a reality late Sunday afternoon.
He leaves behind his beautiful loving bride of 60 years Rose Mary Jones; three devoted children, Gary Gene Jones (Donna) of Wilmington, Dina Jones Harper (Les) of Kinston and Crystal Jones Heavner (Jeff) of Holden Beach; adoring grandchildren, Felicia Jones, John Harper, Hunter Reaves (Taylor), Daniel Jones and Josie Harper; faithful sister, Glenda Futral (Johnny); and dear sister-in-law, Cathy Jones. Eugene also leaves behind many special nieces, nephews and many friends he met throughout his life to cherish his memory. Eugene was preceded in death by his parents, Alton James Jones and Nannie Mae (Smith); and siblings, Bobby Dean, Cecil Allen, Ivey James and Judith Sandlin Thigpen.
Born and raised on a family farm in Beulaville, North Carolina, Eugene was the baby boy of six children. During his formative years, Eugene enjoyed hunting, trapping, fishing and simply exploring the wild woods surrounding his home. He and his brothers especially enjoyed tinkering on old cars.
Eugene met and married the love of his life when he was only 19 and his bride was 15. They eloped to Dillon, South Carolina, because that’s just what you did “in those days.” He then proceeded to build his bride a home all by himself at the young age of 22.
To say that Eugene was a jack-of-all-trades would definitely be an understatement! He held a plethora of jobs during his young adulthood as he searched to make the best living for his young family. He was a lumberjack, construction worker, welder, auto-mechanic, electrician, painter, and an assembly-line machinist before he became self-employed as a television sales and serviceman, which eventually morphed into Hayes Appliances and Lawn Mowers!
Always a kid at heart, Eugene believed in having fun. If he didn’t make you laugh then you might be taking life a bit too seriously! He never met a stranger and one could always see the love of Christ in him by the way he gave to others. Truly a Good Samaritan, he would pick up a hitchhiker in a heartbeat; give to a stranger in need money, even though he never had much to give; or stop to help someone stranded in their vehicle, whether a flat or engine problems, he would jump right in to help! Eugene even offered a stranger a couch for the night in his home! He was a carefree, loving soul with a rare gift of generosity and love for his fellow man. He loved music, art, thrifting, treasure hunting, reading and meditating on God’s word! He loved his family, his friends and simply loved life!
Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and staff at New Hanover Regional Medical Center!
A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 17, at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 1311 Shipyard Blvd., Wilmington.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.