Lewis A. Jones Sr. PhD., Lieutenant Colonel retired United States Air Force, of The Villages, FL, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and family on November 12, 2017. Lew was preceded in death by his mother Mrs. Anna Jones Thomas; his loving stepfather Joshua Thomas; and son Lewis A. Jones, Jr.
Lew loved his family and all sports. He played at the highest level in sports and accomplished many firsts in his life.
Lew earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1943 at age 15. He was among the largest group of black scouts to earn the Eagle Scout Badge in the history of the Boy Scouts of America at that time.
Lew graduated from Crooms Academy in 1947. The High School had no science lab, library, cafeteria, or indoor basketball, volleyball or tennis courts. Despite those inadequacies, his graduating class had teachers, carpenters, lawyers and doctors among its members. 43 of the 47 graduates went to college.
As a first-year high school coach, Lew took his team to State of Florida Black High School Baseball Playoffs, where they were first runner up. Three players from that team earned scholarships to play baseball in college.
Lew was the first athlete to earn a baseball scholarship from Florida A&M University. As a freshman, he batted .419, and led the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in batting, which earned him a starting position on the SAIC Conference team. After graduating from FAMU, he enlisted in the United States Air Force as a private, where he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 37 years on active duty in the Air National Guard.
During his time in the Air National Guard, Lew started an overnight summer camp for 50 needy students in the Trenton, NJ area. The program eventually grew to over 200 students and was supported by New Jersey Governor Cahill. Eventually, the camp spread to almost every state in the nation.
In addition, Lew served as the first Executive Assistant to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon. One of his primary goals was to increase the number of minority officers in the U.S. Army and Air National Guard. He started with .05 percent minority officers, and after 2 years, the number increased to 9.0 percent.
In order to take the job at the Pentagon, Lew had to take a leave of absence from his job as an elementary school principal in Trenton, NJ. While at the Pentagon, he applied for principalships in 5 metropolitan counties around the Washington, D.C. area. Every district offered him a job except the District of Columbia. Lew accepted a job in Montgomery
County, MD where he spent 25 years as an educational leader. Lew was nominated for “Principal of the Year” by the Washington Post.
Lew played and managed in all divisions of the recreation softball league in The Villages Florida. Lew and Barbara were the co-founders of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commentative Committee.
Lew and Barbara, longtime family friends married and moved to Florida, where they currently reside. Their children and grandchildren reside throughout the Northeast area of the United States.
Lew and Olga Spears met, married and gave birth to one daughter, Kirsten Alyson Jones who graduated from Hofstra University.
Lew and Ella Mae Kinard, in their marriage, brought into the world 4 children; Hanford B. Jones who graduated from Southern University, Lewis A. Jones Jr., Michelle A. Jones who graduated from California State University of Fullerton, and Felice Y. Framo who graduated from Temple University.
Lew leaves 14 grandchildren, Vincent James Framo, Michael Lewis Framo, Nicholas Bernard Framo, Telana Jones and Scooter. In addition, stepdaughter Cathy Faraone (Rick) and 4 grandchildren, Jack, Kate, Bobby, Annie and Happy; stepson Al Ritter (Christine) and 3 grandchildren, Lauren, Allie and Kylie; stepdaughter Tricia Tarrant (Tim) and 3 grandchildren, Ryan, Grace and Luke.
Lew would also like to recognize his dear cousin Mrs. Bernice Baeye.
The Family graciously and enthusiastically are thankful for the team of physicians, and other healthcare professionals for their strong service, and support throughout Lew’s illness.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. – Noon and funeral service will be Friday, November 17, 2017 12 p.m. at HIERS-BAXLEY Funeral & Cremation Life Event Center, 3975 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages, FL 32162.
In lieu of flowers, family recommends memorials may be sent to Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Committee.