Remembering Dr. Jones

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To the Editor:

Dr. Basil Jones died at Windemere in January. He was born in New York, of Jamaican ancestry, in 1927, and died a few months short of his 94th birthday.

Basil grew up in Brooklyn, where his father managed to remain in steady, if low-paid, employment throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s. He entered our then segregated military service at the age of 18. On the day he reported for induction into the Army, we dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Like Basil, a high proportion of us nonagenarians who constitute the dwindling ranks of World War II veterans are now men who came into service too near the end of the war to be sent overseas into combat.

Along with millions of veterans, Basil benefited from the GI Bill, which gave a huge jumpstart to college enrollments. After graduating from Howard University Medical School, he returned to Brooklyn, and a long career of practice as an anesthesiologist in its hospitals. After retirement, Basil and his wife joined the large number of those of us here who have converted our seasonal homes into year-round residency.

Basil was a longtime member of our Rotary Club, where I met him. He had a warm and congenial personality — a man of much charm, with a twinkle in his eye, and an ever-ready sense of humor.

He will be deeply missed by those of us who knew him.

 

R.E.L. Knight

West Tisbury