Wilkins Jones, Elretha
Age 70 of Elmira, NY, daughter of the late Mrs. Alberta W. Norris, passed away Thursday, August 16, 2018. She was born of humble means in Pacolet, SC. Raised by her single mother and her grandfather, she excelled in her studies and showed passion for music at an early age. As a pre-teen she dedicated her life to God and was baptized at Montgomery Chapel Baptist Church, Pacolet, SC. She later would become the first in her immediate family not only to graduate from high school, but she worked hard and put herself through college! She graduated from Benjamin E. Mayes School in Pacolet, SC (1966) and Evanston College, AS Degree in Business Management in Evanston, IL (1969). She was not only beautiful on the inside, but outside as well. While living in Denver, CO she was awarded 2nd runner up in the 1977 Cover Girl Beauty Contest. She was always willing to put the needs of others before herself and wasn't afraid to stand for justice. In 1983 while pregnant with her first child, she was fired from a prominent position at an insurance company in Houston, TX because she no longer fit the company uniform. She didn't back down in the least. After delivering her son, she sued the company for discrimination against women and won! She then decided to focus her energy on helping others. She spent the rest of her career is apartment management. She was beloved by all that she encountered and made it a point to never meet a stranger. She was truly a treasure. She was predeceased by her grandparents Harry Wilkins and Tammy Smith, uncle Taft Andrew Wilkins, brother-in-law Marvin Collins and daughter LaRetha Jones. She is survived by her sons Timaeus (Tonya) Wilkins of Inman, SC and Lawrence A. Jones, Jr. of Elmira; grandchild Zoe N. Wilkins of Inman, SC; sister Jacqueline B. Collins of Boiling Spring, SC; former husband and lifelong friend Rev. Lawrence A. Jones, Sr. of Elmira; mother-in-law Evelyn Williams of Elmira; sisters-in-law Deborah Patterson of Buffalo, NY and Donita Walton of Elmira; brother-in-law Rev. Greg Jones of Madera Beach, FL; nephew Torrance T. (Olympia) Wilkins of Spartanburg, SC; niece Cherquana L. Wilkins (Larry Simpson, Jr.) of Pacolet, SC; great nephews Ja'Qun M. Wilkins of Pacolet, SC and T. Elijah Wilkins of Spartanburg, SC; great niece Kiorra A. Wilkins of Spartanburg, SC along with a host of cousins, other extended family and friends. Family and friends are invited to her memorial service on Friday, August 31st at 11 am in Monumental Baptist Church, 308 E. Clinton St., Elmira.