Berry Allen Jones

Published 3:52 pm Monday, July 6, 2020

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FRANKLIN — Berry Allen Jones, 101, of Franklin, passed peacefully while listening to “Georgia On My Mind” on July 4, 2020.

Allen was born in Elbert County, Georgia, on Nov. 7, 1918, the eldest of eight children of William Amos Jones and Katherine McCall Jones.

Berry Jones

He was a 1941 graduate of Young Harris College and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps after college. As a member of the Greatest Generation, he was a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot of the 365th Fighter Group (Hell Hawks) flying 56 escort missions in France, Holland and Belgium in preparation for the D-Day invasion and after, without ever being hit by enemy fire. His first enemy encounter was detailed in the book, “The History of the Hell Hawks,” by Charles R. Johnson. He was awarded an Air Medal with eight bronze Oak Leaf Clusters. Allen was featured on the cover of The New York Times magazine on Feb. 11, 1945, entitled, “Mission Accomplished The Pilot Reports.” He risked his own life so we could celebrate our freedom. How appropriate that he passed on Independence Day.

He married the love of his life, Hope Reams Jones, on July 4, 1943, even naming his plane, “Jonesy’s Hope” in her honor. It’s fitting that he passed on what would have been their 77th wedding anniversary. After he was discharged he began his career in the paper industry, retiring after 37 years with Union Camp Corporation.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 75 years, Hope Reams Jones; his parents; brothers, W. Bailey Jones and Dr. Jack E. Jones; sisters, Doris Jones Bailey and Faye Jones Vermilya; and his granddaughter’s husband, Tyler Stout.

He is survived by his son, Berry Allen Jones Jr. (Pat) of Staunton, Virginia; daughter, Judith Jones Allen (John) of Roswell, Georgia; four grandchildren, Carla Jones Stout of Charlotte, North Carolina; Kathryn Allen Crawford (Joey) of Marietta, Georgia; John Maxwell Allen III of Atlanta, Georgia; Courtney Reams Allen of Brooklyn, New York; seven great-grandchildren, Luke Allen Stout (Amy), Cameryn Mae Stout, Noelle Hope Stout, Emerson Michael Allen, Callaway Hope Allen, Joseph Nesbitt Crawford IV and Maxwell Jones Crawford; brother, Bobby Jones (Darlene) of Elberton, Georgia; sisters, Jimmie Nelle Richardson (John) of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Velma Jones Grizzle of Fort Mill, South Carolina; and many nieces and nephews.

Allen was a member of the High Street United Methodist Church in Franklin, former member of the Franklin Rotary Club, member of the American Legion Post 73, former member of Cypress Cove Country Club and past chairman of the Franklin Electoral Board.

He loved his wife and family most of all, but he also loved the game of golf, at one time having a single-digit handicap and three holes-in-one. He was also featured in Golf Digest magazine in 2008 at the age of 89 as having the most improved handicap of any senior male golfer in Virginia.

He was a man of honor, well-respected, strong and brave. He will be loved and remembered by his family forever.

A graveside service will be held on Thursday, July 9, at 11 a.m., at Poplar Springs Cemetery with the Rev. Ben Duffey officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Village at Woods Edge, 1401 N. High St., Franklin, VA 23851.

The family would like to thank the staff at The Village at Woods Edge, as well as Angelia Reid and her staff of caregivers for their loving care and kindness. They will always be remembered and appreciated with love.