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Oct. 2, 1920-Oct. 21, 2010

ALBERTSON -- Woodley Marthel Jones, 90, 1935 Red Hill Road, died early Thursday morning at Mount Olive Care and Rehabilitation Center after a brief illness.

He was the son of the late Ivey and Ada Brock Jones.

Marthel, or W.M. as some knew him later in life, was born in Duplin County, and grew up near Whiteflash community.

As a young adult, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps near Los Angeles, Calif.

He volunteered for service during World War II, and served in the United States Army Air Corps as a military policeman. He rode his infamous "Number 13" Harley-Davidson motorcycle across North Africa and Italy, leading and escorting troop convoys during the Allied advance through the European Theater.

After the war he returned to civilian life, rediscovered, fell in love with and married the love of his life, Adell Turner, a local girl. This union of 62-plus years produced three sons with wives, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

He worked as a sharecropper farmer, while at the same time learning the trade of carpentry through classes at B.F. Grady School. His love of the trade and his driven desire to grow beyond his sixth-grade education allowed him to rise through the craft to levels of carpenter foreman and later, general foreman on construction jobs for factories, military base expansion and schools and colleges in eastern and central North Carolina.

After his retirement from public work, he continued to work locally for friends in the community at odd jobs and repairs. Many a yard within and beyond the Pleasant Grove community are decorated with his wooden outdoor chair and swing sets.

Marthel was an early member of Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department, for which his love and interest became rekindled later in life. His ability to "sell a ticket" contributed to the success of many fundraisers for the department. Although no formal records are kept at state level for verification, he was officially acknowledged locally as probably the oldest active fireman in North Carolina. His dedication and service to the community, and the fire department, culminated earlier this year with awards for community service-2009 and Fireman of the Year-2009.

Through his love for Adell, he began attending Snow Hill Free Will Baptist Church when she could no longer drive herself to services. He continued to attend services after her death in early 2008.

He was an avid fisherman, always managing to take a catch from the Northeast Cape Fear River and the many local ponds he was privy to.

Friends, neighbors, and family were liberally treated with the best collards anywhere through his hobby of gardening.

No one ever left his shop without the piece of board that he could supply or the tool that he could loan.

His survivors are the three sons and their wives, Woody and Linda Jones of Albertson, Skeet and Jean Jones of Albertson and Milton and June Jones of Simpson; six grandchildren, Anissa Jones Tolbert and husband, Zack, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Marty Jones of Anchorage, Alaska, Vonda Jones Grady and husband, Barney, of Kenansville, Karolee Jones Myers and husband, Don, of Goldsboro, Matthew Jones and friend, Heather Easter, of Winterville and Madison Jones of Simpson; his five great-grandchildren, Emma and Cooper Tolbert, Daniel Grady and Sydney and Sebastian Myers. He is also survived by three "sisters," Nannie Lou Bennett, Annie Ruth Herring and Betty Faye Williams all of Mount Olive.

In addition to his parents; his wife, Adell Turner Jones; a brother, Odell Jones; and an infant sister, who died at birth, preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. in Tyndall Funeral Home chapel in Mount Olive. Burial will follow in Pineview Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home Friday from 7 to 9 p.m., and at other times at the home of Woody and Linda Jones, 3999 N.C. 111 north in Albertson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department/EMS, c/o Wayland Southerland, 645 Bennett's Bridge Road, Mount Olive, N.C., 28365, or Snow Hill Free Will Baptist Church, c/o Lou Ellen Carrell, 1475 Red Hill Road, Mount Olive, N.C., 28365.


Published in Obituaries on October 22, 2010 1:47 PM