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A celebration of a well-lived life will be held for Mr. David Dewayne Jones on Friday, March 24, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Sibille's Funeral Home in Opelousas. David, who was 77 years old, died on March 22, 2017, after a brief illness. David will be honored with a Fireman's Funeral. Graveside services will be held at Bellevue Memorial Park cemetery. Presiding over the services will be Stacie Comeaux, Volunteers of America Minister.
David was born the youngest of four boys on November 8, 1939, in Oklahoma. He and his parents, along with his second youngest brother, moved to Opelousas in the early 1950's, with David graduating from Opelousas High School in 1957. He attended SLI, now University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Upon leaving SLI, David began working with the Railway Express Agency (REA). He worked in various cities in Louisiana and Texas before attaining the position of general foreman for the company in Houston. David returned to Opelousas in 1965 as the local REA agent, and it is there that he, his wife and two daughters made their home. After the closure of REA in 1973 he worked as a driver for Roadway Express until his retirement in 1998.
David joined Hope, Hook and Ladder Volunteer Fire Company soon after his 1965 return to Opelousas, and after serving in several offices was elected as its president. He served in that capacity for 18 years. David was a lifetime member of the Louisiana State Fireman's Association. David was also an active member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE). His dedication to volunteer and community efforts earned him numerous civic awards over his lifetime, including being named, in 1972, as the city's first volunteer Fireman of the Year, and Elk of the Year in 2012. However, caring for his family and nurturing the many friendships he made through his work and civic activities were, for David, the highlights of his life.
David's affable personality, as well as his good-natured but mischievous inclinations, endeared him to many from all walks of life; he truly never met a stranger. Regardless of one's economic status, gender, religion, or race, David was an equal opportunity and loyal friend, but it did help if you liked to drink coffee and play bourré, dominoes, or golf.
During David's nineteen years of retirement he witnessed the birth of his much adored two grandchildren whom he often took to the local country club to ride in his golf cart, "chase squirrels, and drink lemonade." Fraternizing with his friends at the Elks Lodge was also a favorite pastime, and on Thursdays he could be counted on to help deliver the Elk's delicious meals. He was a regular early morning coffee drinker at the Palace Café in downtown Opelousas where he shared a table and stories with his buddies. For many years during David's retirement he often opened the café and made coffee and baked biscuits for the early risers. This, as with life, was fun and enjoyable for him.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 56 ½ years, Naomi Roy Jones; two daughters, Gwen Gaye J. Sanders and Steven Hasling of Lafayette, and Bridget J. Thomas of Bay St. Louis, MS; his two dearly loved grandchildren, Caitlyn E. Thomas of St. Louis, MO, and David S. Thomas of Prairieville, LA; one brother, Bill Jones of Prairieville, LA; two sisters-in-law, Jean Jones Evans of Florida and Elizabeth Jones of Tennessee; his cherished niece and nephews, Marilyn Jones of Florida; Larry Jones and wife Kathy of Prairieville, LA; Rob Jones and his wife Bridgette of North Carolina; and Danny Jones and his wife Heather of Tennessee. David is also survived by "sons and daughter by choice," Steven "Demo" Demourelle, Mark McBride, and Mary L. Kleefisch.
David was preceded in death by his parents, L.J. "Buster" Jones and Mary Vivian Adair Jones; his mother and father-in-law, Oscar Joseph Roy and Agnes French Roy; two brothers, Jerry M. Jones and James "Jim" D. Jones; one sister-in-law, Marilyn Faye Jones; and niece Linda Jones Graham. He was also preceded in death by "son of choice" Steven D. McKinney.
The family thanks Dr. Hunt DeBlanc for his many years of professional care given to David, and also Dee Lamb for caring for David and assisting his family during David's brief illness.
Words of Comfort to the family may be expressed at www.sibillefuneralhomes.com. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Sibille Funeral Home of Opelousas.
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