Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors announces the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Kirkland Jones, age 89, of Waynesboro, who entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, January 9, 2024. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her children. Funeral service was held Saturday, January 13, at 11 a.m. at Summertown Baptist Church, where Elizabeth was a life-long member, with Rev. John Durden officiating. Interment followed in the Hawhammock Baptist Church Cemetery. Family received friends Friday, January 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at DeLoach-McKerley-Prescott Funeral Home in Waynesboro.
Known as Betty to her friends and family, she was born on January 17, 1934, in Emanuel County, and was the second child of five children born to Judge Henry Frank Kirkland and Leslie Moore Kirkland of Summertown. Betty graduated from Summertown High School at the age of 16 and was awarded the State Title of Best Actress in 1950. She then went on to study at the Georgia State College for Women, majoring in English and Speech, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1954. The years 1953-1954 were momentous in her life, as she became a bride in 1953 at the age of 19, and then graduated from college and began her 40-year career as a teacher. Betty’s first teaching job was at Wadley High School. Over the course of her career, she taught the subjects of English and Grammar, French, American Literature, and Drama. She greatly admired the teachers she had in school and felt drawn to become one herself. Betty also greatly enjoyed directing plays and helping her students develop their acting skills. She was also driven to continue her own education and, in 1973, received a master’s degree in education from Mercer University. Betty’s husband, Clifford, was an enlisted man in the United States Air Force, so that meant that they were often required to move. Their first experience with life on an Air Force Base was in Warner Robins. They then moved to other bases including Savannah, Rapid City, South Dakota and Fairbanks, Alaska. Betty taught in schools wherever they lived and after Clifford retired, they moved back to Emanuel County, where Betty continued teaching at Swainsboro High School. In 1975, they moved the family to Waynesboro, where they opened the Dairy Queen. They went on to successfully own and operate several other stores in Augusta, Millen, Garden City, Louisville and Wrens. Betty continued teaching in various local school systems and often worked alongside her husband and children in many of the Dairy Queen stores. She also learned how to decorate cakes, which were sold in the stores, and enjoyed teaching this skill to their employees. But, despite all of her education, skills, talents and accomplishments, the most important part of Betty’s life was, without doubt, that of being a mother and grandmother. She loved each of her children and grandchildren very much and was always proud of them and their accomplishments – and loved bragging on them whenever she had the chance to do so. Betty was also an avid reader, and enjoyed gardening, collecting recipes, writing poetry, sewing, arts and crafts, and reminiscing about the unique experiences she had growing up in Summertown. Mrs. Jones is preceded in death by her parents; husband of 67 years, Clifford Jones; sisters, Joyce Chavous and Minnie Kate Underwood; and son, Clifford Jones, Jr.
Mrs. Jones is survived by her children, Carey Mark Jones of Chamblee, Robert Kipton Jones of Waynesboro, Carol Ann Jones (Reid Stephenson) of Waynesboro, Jo Maelisa Jones of Woodstock and Tina Elizabeth Anchor (Michael Anchor) of Evans; grandchildren, Samantha Elizabeth (Quinton) Mino of Tallahassee, Florida and Ryan Zane (Becca) Anchor of Martinez; brother, Joe (Linda) Kirkland of Summertown; sister, Bennie (Terry) Lang of Pensacola, Florida; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: Summertown Baptist Church, 51 Summertown Church Street, Midville, Georgia 30441, or to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home, 9420 Blackshear Hwy SE, Baxley, GA 31513.
Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors was in charge of arrangements.