Virginia Jones

Virginia Dickey Jones, 87, passed away Wednesday, April 24, at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, NY. A viewing will be held at 10 AM this Saturday, followed by a funeral service at 12 PM, both taking place at Shabach Tabernacle of Praise, 1133 Lake St, Elmira, NY. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, 1200 Walnut St, Elmira, NY.

Virginia was born on Monday April 18, 1932 to Wesley Dickey and Estelle Walker in Calhoun County Georgia. She was one of eleven children. As a child growing up in the South, Virginia and her siblings did not have the opportunity to go to school full-time. Rather, they had to work and help their father – a World War I veteran who became a sharecropper. Especially in light of such obstacles, one of Virginia's proudest personal accomplishments later in life was teaching herself to read.

During her early adulthood, Virginia enjoyed adorning herself in stylish attire and going out dancing. Her occupations were in the restaurant and dry-cleaning industry. She met her eventual husband Ocie Jones in Orlando, FL. Upon having children, Virginia eventually stopped working outside the home and became a single mother. It was during this season of life that she focused her attention on serving Jesus and raising her children, with the hope and belief of a better life for them. In particular, she impressed upon them the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus and pursuing an education.

Virginia's life joys and passions were: to love and praise Jesus, exhorting others to "have faith in God," love and serve her children and their spouses and her grandchildren, cooking, fishing, and gardening. Despite enduring many challenging, unjust, and painful experiences during her life, she resisted bitterness, resentment, hatred, and self-pity. Amazingly, through it all, she exuded an "unbreakableness" and was always eager to share her life's personal mantra, witness, and legacy with everyone she encountered – insisting that through it all, "God's been good to me."

Virginia is predeceased by her husband Ocie Jones, parents Wesley and Estelle, daughter Darlene, son-in-law "Bo" Smith, and all her siblings: Walter, Hubert, Wilson, Roby, Abijames, Howard, Marvin, Lawrence, Lillian and Helen. She leaves to celebrate her rebirth into eternity, her children: Jerry (Peggy), Otis (Aggie), Charles (Caroline), Barbara, Steve (Tessa), Theresa Mechelle, Leon (Alma), and Dena, along with a host of adored grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins, and extended family members. Likewise, her pastor Elder Esco Smith and his wife Evangelist Minnie Smith. Additionally, she will be missed by friends and members of her church family.

Virginia Dickey Jones is significant. She matters. She is loved. Moreover, she has an eternal divine crown with her "new name on it." Her love, witness and testimonies, strength, life of prayer and faith, and legacy will in perpetuity be "salt and light" to all those who knew her – most notably her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.