Charles H. Jones, 100, died on Oct. 9, 2017, with loving family present, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Charles was born in Winston-Salem, N.C., on April 22, 1917, to Emma and C.H. Jones. “Cee Jay,” as he was affectionately known, was raised in Winston-Salem, and attended Talladega College in Alabama. He moved to Harlem, N.Y., in 1942, and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943. He was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1946.
While in New York, he worked for 39 years for the U.S. Postal Service, where he ultimately became a supervisor and retired in 1982. Upon retirement, he traveled, and moved to Oak Bluffs permanently in 1989. He had visited the Island for decades prior. In Oak Bluffs, Cee Jay quickly became a town fixture. He volunteered in the town’s information booth for over a decade, and as a crossing guard at Oak Bluffs Elementary School. He joined a number of Island clubs and organizations, and made a multitude of friends and admirers. He became known as the “unofficial mayor” of Oak Bluffs due to his pleasant demeanor, personal charm, and knowledge of Martha’s Vineyard.
In 2012, for his military service, Cee Jay was awarded the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal — the nation’s highest civilian honor.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Thelma Morgan, and second wife, Mavis Jones, who he remained with until her death.
Cee Jay is survived by his grandchildren, Charles Jones IV, Darryl Jones, Cheryl Jones, and Chauncey Jones (Sarah), all of Winston-Salem; great-grandchildren Porsche Jones (Devoted), Shawn Brooks, Alasha Jones, Kenneth Anderson, Ryan Johnson, Jacob Jones, Sudan Jones, Olivia Jones, Chloe Jones, and Kelvin Jones; 10 great-great-grandchildren; as well as many friends from across the nation and world.
A graveside service will be held in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Pacific Avenue, in Oak Bluffs on Monday, August 13, at 10 am, with military honors provided by the veterans of Martha’s Vineyard.