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Joseph Melvin Jones

Joseph Melvin Jones (aka: Joe, Jose, Dad, Abbagoo, Grandad, Pops, PapaJoe, Colonel) passed away October 19, 2022 and is now with his Lord and Savior.  Joe was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 38 years, Cary Jones.  He is survived by his children Joe Jr (Dana) of Wimberly, TX; Leslie (Keith) Carraghan of Gulfport, MS; David Manzer of Austin TX; Kate (Dave) Donaldson of Hoover, AL.; and daughter-in-law Christine Manzer of Bastrop, TX.  He also leaves behind beautiful grandchildren Mollie (Trevor) Rockstad; Tess Elizabeth, Evan Carraghan; Matthew and Emma Manzer; Jake (Nicholle) and Zack Ingram; and great grandchildren Ren and Rory Rockstad. Joe Jones was born July 9, 1932 in Pinola, Mississippi.  He graduated from Central High School in Jackson, MS in 1950.  He enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War in January 1951 where he trained as a radio mechanic and completed radio operators school in 1952.  In February 1953, he began his pilot training with the Aviation Cadets leading to him being commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant and awarded pilot wings in May 1954.  He was assigned to Strategic Air Command as a B-47 pilot.  He transitioned to B-52 training in 1959 and later served as a B-52 instructor.  Joe transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command in 1967 as a computer systems analyst, Instructor Pilot for T-39 aircraft and personal Instructor Pilot to SAC Chief of Staff.  He was assigned to U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand in 1970 as a B-52 mission director, Southeast Asia operations.  In 1974, Joe was assigned to Headquarters 8th Air Force as the Executive to Director of Operations and personal IP to 8th AF Commander.  After serving his country for 25 years, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Jones retired from the USAF in July 1976.  In 1977, he moved to Montgomery, AL and began working as an insurance agent specializing in commercial business insurance.  He served as the President of the Professional Insurance Association and formed his own consulting firm in 1992.  Upon retirement from his second career, Joe and Cary sold their home and traveled full time in their RV enjoying time traveling the country and special events with their Deep South RV Chapter.  The last chapter of his life was spent in Birmingham, AL creating a loving community with everyone he came in contact with.  He loved deeply and was loved by so many people. Decorations: Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with Silver Star, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Air and Space Longevity Service Award, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Joe’s ashes will be placed in the Gulf of Mexico in January where Cary’s ashes were placed 10 years earlier.  The family wishes to thank the caring staff at Ultimate Edge Sports Medicine, especially Dr. Ellen Pugh.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in honor of Joseph Jones to Irondale United Methodist Church, 400 Deering St. Irondale, AL 35210 or 

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