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March 15, 1925-Oct. 23, 2011

A new day dawned March 15, 1925, at the birth of Jonah Joseph Best to the late John David Best Sr. and Classie Broadhurst Best Hines of Wayne County.

Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, his life story ended at Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Goldsboro. His book closed, but we are left with beautiful memories of a life well lived.

He received his education from the Wayne County School System, and later enlisted in the United States Navy, serving his country in World War II.

Jonah, as he was called by family and friends, grew up in the Indian Springs Community, and at an early age joined Best Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.

After relocating to the eastern area of Wayne County, he became a member of Woods Chapel Free Will Baptist church and served in various capacities, including a member of the deacon board, chairman of the Men's Day program, Sunday school teacher, Boy Scouts of America, the home Mission Ministry, Van Ministry, Men's Fellowship and Male Chorus.

He also served on the committee for the upkeep of Old Mill Cemetery.

In 2008, he became affiliated with Mount Carmel Free Will Baptist Church, where he continued his Christian journey.

Deacon Jonah retired from O'Berry in 1990 with 23 years of dedicated service. He was also employed by Ready Mix of Goldsboro for many years. In 1989, he ventured out and became owner and operator of Best Concrete.

Deacon Best was currently a member of J.W. Hood Lodge No. 8, Free and Accepted Masons. June 8, 2002, he received the Worshipful Master of the Year Award from Liberal Arts Lodge No. 425.

He was an avid sports fan, and was presented the Golden Warrior Award in 2004 in appreciation of service, dedication and commitment to the athletic program at Eastern Wayne High School. His favorite teams were the Washington Redskins, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dodgers.

His love, wisdom, community involvement and nurturing mannerisms were displayed in his role as a husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

He was married to Lydia Braswell Best, who preceded him in death.

In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a daughter, Thelma Cousin, and six brothers, John David, Henry Allen, Willie Russell, Robert, Alphonso and Ray Eugene Best.

He leaves to cherish his memory six children, Marciletta (Marc) Stewart of Washington, D.C., Carol (Bruce) Smith of La Grange, Johnnie (Joseph) Moore of Maryland, Emma Lisa (Perry) McWilliams of Goldsboro, Charles (Mary) Braswell of Goldsboro and Thomas Braswell of Trenton, N.J.; two sisters, Mary Frances Uzzell and Lueada Dawson both of Goldsboro; a brother-in-law, Fred Braswell of Powder Springs, Ga.; four sisters-in-law, Julia Jackson of LaGrange, Johnnie Lewis of Goldsboro, Hilda Rouse of Goldsboro, Mary Braswell of Villanova, Pa., and Beulah Gray of LaGrange; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Deacon Jonah Joseph Best will truly be missed by those whose lives were touched by him.

A visitation will be held Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

A service of remembrance will be held Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, at noon at Bear Creek Headquarters building, 1800 S. Slocumb St. Following the services in the sanctuary, Mr. Best's delicate temple, along with his adored family, will be escorted to Old Mill Cemetery for interment rites.

Mr. Best's earthen vessel is peacefully resting at E.M. Matthews Funeral Home, where the Best and connected families are receiving prestigious service.


Published in Obituaries on October 28, 2011 1:49 PM