Willis Howard Jones passed away peacefully in his home in Johnson City, TN at 11AM on Sunday, May 21, 2023, in the company of his son, Brian Jones, daughter-in-law, Sarah Smith, and close friends, George and Lesley Gradek.
Willis was born in Greeneville, TN on September 7, 1941, to Nancy Pauline McGhee and John F. Jones. He was a graduate of Greeneville High School.
He volunteered his service to the Army from 1961-1964 as a Radio Engineer in Germany and attained the rank of Sergeant.
Willis’ earthly love was his wife Regina Kay Jones and they were married from February 14, 1982 until her death on January 8, 2014, having one son, Brian McGhee Jones.
Willis was a disciple of Jesus Christ. He did not have an affiliation with any denomination as he believed faith did not require membership. The three passages that he requested be read to him toward the end of his earthly life were Micah 6:8, Matthew 6:9-13 and Hebrews 4. Willis loved to share his faith with others and could often be found discussing Matthew 13:36-43 (The Good Seed).
Willis worked and retired from the Sherwin-Williams Company after 35 years of service. He was always an entrepreneur at heart and opened many small businesses: Classic Billiards (Johnson City), Silver Chords Dulcimer & Gift Shop (Jonesborough and Erwin) and Willis Jones Photography (Johnson City).
Willis had three hobbies he loved: billiards, photography and mountain dulcimers. He was a certified BSA billiard instructor. He loved mountains, streams and waterfalls and was an accomplished photographer. He loved music and, inspired by his Appalachian heritage, learned to play and teach the mountain dulcimer.
Willis was preceded in death by his wife Kay Jones and his brother Johnny D. Jones of Greeneville, TN.
Willis is survived by his son, Brian Jones (Sarah) of Memphis, TN, brothers James Jones (Belinda) of Lexington, SC and Nathan Jones (Wanda) of Greeneville, TN and sister-in-law Carolyn Williams of Johnson City, TN.
Funeral services will be conducted at 12:30 PM Thursday, May 25, 2023, at Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home in Jonesborough, TN. The family will receive friends at 11:30 AM prior to the service.
Internment services will immediately follow at 2:00 PM at Mountain Home National Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Mike Broyles, George Gradek, Brian Jones, James Jones, Nathan Jones and Wayne Mast.
I met Willis when he & Kay started worshipping at Tacoma Church of God. His photography work was amazing. My prayers are with his family as well as those friends who were close to him. He was always helpful & kind to all who he met on the walk of life.
Willis was such a kind person. Your tribute is spot on. I worked with him at NETAR. Peace and blessings be with Willis and family.
So sorry Brian. Your dad and mom were dear friends at Grace Fellowship. So thankful they’re reunited again. Willis was a gifted musician and photographer. I enjoyed his beautiful pictures of God’s creation!
My condolences. Will be praying for all the family and loved ones.
Willis was a wonderful true friend
I sure will miss you uncle Willis...I really enjoyed our little talks on the internet concerning your work and also the Bible...I was getting closer ......it hurt when I saw you in the obits tonight......I love you .....I will miss you putting your photography and your Bible verses on line.....I know the Lord has a special place for you with Him......He loves dolcimer music too....love your niece Gail gosnell
I just read the obituary in the Press today and wanted to say you are lifted up and I am so sorry for your loss. I just asked about Willis a few weeks ago at the Senior Citizens Center because I had not seen him in a while. I took dulcimer lessons from Willis at the Center and enjoyed all our visits. He always had a joke to tell and encouraging words to share. He had us go to the Boones Creek Opry to watch and listen. He enjoyed the opry and played there. My wife and I will send a memorial to the Opry in Willis's name.
Again, I am sorry for your loss.
Pam Holler for the Memphis Hollers
Brian and Sarah, we are sad for your loss. This is a hard time, after a hard time. Brian, what a gift you gave your dad, to be with him at home. How good to know he rested in the promises of Hebrews 4 - we can find such mercy and grace there with Jesus who knows us as we are and loves us more. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you peace.
I met Willis through an ebay ad recently. I purchased an instrument from him, even met him in JC to pick it up. We exchanged a few text messages after that, and I put him on our church prayer list. I wish we could have become friends earlier, but the Lord had other plans I guess. But someday in eternity, we will meet again in Heaven. Each time I strum my dulcimer I will think of my friend Willis
Gary & Marjorie Snowden
Our heartfelt condolences to Willis’ family. He was such a kind man. We know how much he loved the Lord as we were friends on FB. He used FB to post scriptures as a witness for Jesus. May God bless you all.