January 26, 1952 – May 18, 2022
On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Former Chief Morris Jones, 70, of Petersburg, Virginia, transitioned to eternal rest in his home, with close family at his side.
Morris was born on January 26, 1952, as the middle son of the seven children of the late Murel Matthew Jones, Sr. and Doris Coretha Dugger Jones.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jo Anne Wilkerson Jones, and his siblings, Murel Matthew Jones, Jr., Michael Darnell Jones, Barbara Jean Jones Walker, and Phillip Jones, Sr.
Morris is survived by his children Markelle Jones (Tangee), from his union with Jo Anne Wilkerson Jones, and Adrienne Jones and Sean Jones, from his union with Patsy A. Brown Jones, as well as step-son, Shandell Winfield. He leaves behind his adored grandchildren Christian Massey, Zekiah Jones, Micah Jones, Genesis Jones, Donte Ridley, Beyonce Coleman, Lori Fields, Jalonni Williams Jones, and Nevaeh Jones.
Left to honor his memory are his brother, Melvin C. Jones (Debra) of Chester, his sister, Beverly McLaughlin (Wesley) of Petersburg, his sisters-in-law, Linda Jones of South Chesterfield, Rosemary Rice-Jones of Chester, Audrey Mayfield Jones of Prince George, Virginia. Also left to honor his memory are his aunt, Agnes Smith of Hopewell, and uncles, Charles Dugger of Ashland, Virginia, Dr. Alfred R. Jones of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Pastor John Jones, Ronnie Jones, both of Maryland, Larry Jones of Midlothian, Virginia, Charles “Buddy” Jones of Hopewell, Virginia, along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other cherished relatives and friends, including devoted long-time childhood friends, Bernard Jones and Jesse Williams.
Morris graduated from Peabody High School in 1970 and began working as a patrol officer for the Petersburg Police Department in 1974. After being promoted to Sergeant in 1978, he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Virginia State University (VSU) in 1981.
Serving as Lieutenant from 1982 – 1994, Morris expanded community relations programs and sought opportunities to increase his training and responsibility in the Petersburg Police Department.
While working as a Lieutenant, he earned his Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Public Administration, Administration of Justice, and Guidance; he was one of the first class to complete that program at VSU in 1987. It was one of many full-circle moments when he began teaching as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work in 1989, where he taught Criminal Justice, American Law Enforcement, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Criminology, Social Science for over 20 years. His commitment to learning and teaching, and his undeniable leadership capabilities led to his promotion to Captain in 1995 and then to Deputy Police Chief from 1996 – 1999.
Morris crowned his 31 years of dedicated public service in the Petersburg Police Department with a promotion to Chief of Police in 1999. His platform of “Up Close and Personal” redefined a guideline for policing that reflected his community relations roots and his desire to see the city’s residents being treated fairly in every circumstance. After retiring from the Chief of Police position in 2005, he rededicated time to service in many organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police, Concerned Black Men of Petersburg, the Delta Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., as well as serving in various capacities at the Cawson Street and Petersburg Churches of Christ.
Many may not know that Morris was an avid gardener, who regularly fed his family and extended family with an assortment of greens, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, string beans, squash, cabbages, carrots, pears, and even watermelons from his own gardens over the years.
In addition to his green thumb, Morris prided himself on his musical ear. Throughout the years, he served as song leader at several Churches of Christ, and he enjoyed music of many genres, including jazz, gospel, soul, and acapella singing. If he found himself in the room with a piano or keyboard, you may have even caught him playing and singing a song or two…
In an interview while working as Chief of Police, he was asked, “How would you like to be remembered?” He succinctly and confidently replied, “As someone who always did his best at whatever he did. As someone who was fair.”
Celebration of Life service will be held 11 A. M., Thursday, May 26, 2022 at the Petersburg Church of Christ, 234 N. South Street, Petersburg, VA., 23803, Mr. Philip Jones, Jr., officiating, and Mr. Melvin C. Jones, Sr., eulogist. Interment will follow at Dinwiddie Memorial Park, 7324 Church Rd., Petersburg, VA, 23803.
Public visitation viewing for Mr. Morris Jones will Lie-In-State 4 P.M. – 8 P.M. at the Union Train Station, 103 River St., Petersburg, VA., 23803 Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
The funeral arrangements for Mr. Morris Jones have been entrusted to the caring professionals of Bland Funeral Home, 137 Harrison St., Petersburg, VA., 23803. Please submit online condolence to: www.blandfuneralhomes.com