Special to the Daily World
Final rites for Milton Hermes Jones Sr., father of former Bank of America Georgia President Milton H. Jones, Jr., were held Friday, August 17, 11 a.m. at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church. The Rev. Hilliard M. Lee Jr. did the Homily (eulogy) and read the scripture. The Rev. Father Jerome McKenna is pastor of St. Paul.
Jones Sr., affectionately known as “Buster”, was born in Sylvester, Georgia on March 20, 1923 to Henry Jones and Cliffie Burke Jones. He was the eldest of seven children.
Milton received his education in Atlanta where he attended David T. Howard Junior High School and Booker T. Washington High School. He later completed further study at J. B. Blayton School of Accounting.
Buster Jones married his childhood sweetheart, Helen Elizabeth Laster, in 1943. To this union were born two children: a daughter, Miltona and a son, Milton Jr. He was drafted by the United States Army and deployed during WW II to France and Central Europe. During his service, he received several medals and was promoted to Sergeant and section leader.
After his honorable discharge, Buster returned home and worked in various roles in entertainment venues such as the Poinciana and the Magnolia Ballroom where many renowned musicians performed. During his spare time, he played quarterback and halfback for the Atlanta Black All-Stars semi-professional football team.
The deceased began a career at Lockheed Aircraft as an assemblyman in 1952. He rose to foreman and supervisor and ultimately retired 33 years later. During this time he continued to volunteer. He coached the WERD radio station basketball and baseball teams in the YMCA leagues and won a National Championship in basketball in 1962. He was also a member of the Extra Point Club, which held basketball tournaments involving HBCU’s and small colleges. A number of players in these tournaments went on to become NBA All-stars and Hall of Fame members. He volunteered as a football coach at Fountain High School and helped a number of players gain admission to colleges throughout Georgia.
Jones co-owned and operated the Oasis Ballroom for many years and after fully retiring, he volunteered in support of his grandchildren and many students in the Atlanta Public School System (APS). He received APS Golden Apple Award for his years of service.
Jones Sr. served his church and community faithfully until his illness. He started Boy Scout Troup 383 at St. Paul of the Cross. Under his leadership as Scoutmaster, five of his scouts received the Ad Altare Dei Award. They were the first scouts in the history of Georgia to win this highest Catholic honor. He was especially proud that four of his scouts became Eagle Scouts. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus 4th degree, and also received the “Trailblazer Award” from St. Paul of the Cross for his many years of service.
He transitioned from this earth on Friday, August 10. Jones leaves a loving and devoted wife of 69 years, Helen E. Jones; daughter, Miltona “Cookie” Bryson; son, Milton H. Jones Jr. (Shelia); brother, Weldon B. Jones (Margaret) and sister, Henrietta Thrasher; grandchildren Kelley Helene Bryson (Howard), Milton Clarence Jones , Clifford Hugh-Allen Bryson and Tiffany Monique Jones; six great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Interment was held at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery on Joseph Boone Blvd. (formerly Simpson Rd.) in northwest Atlanta. Willie Watkins Funeral Home was in charge of the funeral service and burial.