Mrs. Barbara Bell Jones of Gaston,NC, passed on Saturday, December 31, 2011, at the Halifax Regional Medical Center, Roanoke Rapids, NC.
Barbara was the tenth child born to the parentage of the late Sumner Fairfield Bell, Sr. and Alice Ransom Bell in the Occoneechee Neck area of Northampton County near Jackson, NC.
She loved the land on which she was born and reared and often spoke of her fondness of the sounds associated with rural life and how much, as a child, she enjoyed playing in the orchards and fields of the family farm. As God blessed and empowered her, it was her desire to keep those traditions and experiences alive for future generations of her family.
Early in life, she became a member of Roanoke Chapel Baptist Church and remained a faithful contributing member until her demise.
Barbara attended Henderson Institute, Henderson, NC during her junior year in high school. However, in May 1943, she graduated from Northampton County Training School, Garysburg, NC and was an active member of the NCTS Alumni Association.
God guided her to North Carolina A & T State University and ordered her steps in becoming an active student. She joined the Alpha Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and was elected May queen. She graduated in 1947, but continued to serve her university and her sorority throughout her life.
She provided guidance and support to many students attending college while serving as Mid-Eastern Regional Director of the NC A & T Alumni Association and several other positions in her local alumni chapter.
Her "Aggie Pride" was shown through her hard work on the university's behalf and through the generosity of her financial contributions. In 1991, she was recognized as one of the 100 Aggie Achievers for the Centennial Celebration. She was the recipient of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) Distinguished Alumni citation in 1994 and with the Julia S. Brooks Achievement Award in 1997.
God guided her steps to marry Jasper W. Jones on August 7, 1965 and she remained a devoted wife over the next 46 years as they shared their home in Gaston, NC.
In 1979, she assisted her sister, Alice in bringing to reality an idea of their sister, Gillie, to have a Bell-Ransom family reunion. In doing so, she set a standard which began a tradition that highlighted her talents and skills. For 33 years, God guided her steps to be a leader in efforts to tell the story of her family's legacy. Keeping that legacy alive for the young and old became her mission, and she did so with unconditional love.
She is survived by her devoted husband, Jasper W. Jones; her sister, Gillie Bell Branch of Philadelphia, PA; many god-children, nieces and nephews who loved her dearly; extended family and god-children: Georgette B. and Wayne Kimball, Sr., Waynette Kimball and Wayne Kimball, Jr., all of Roanoke Rapids, NC; a host of Bell-Ransome cousins, other relatives and many friends.
The family will receive friends in the Chapel of Cofield Mortuary, Weldon, NC on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 from 6 PM to 8 PM.
The Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, Janaury 4, 2012 at 12 Noon from the sanctuary of Roanoke Chapel Baptist Church, 488 Occoneechee Neck Road North, Jackson, NC with the Pastor, Rev. Dr. Franklin D. Williams, Jr. delivering the eulogy.
Interment will follow in the Bell Family Cemetery.
Messages of condolences may be mailed to PO Box 934, Gaston, NC 27832 or email cofieldmortuary @vol.com.
Cofield Mortuary, Weldon, NC is handling all arrangements.
The Cofield Family and Staff extends their heartfelt sympathy and continued support to Mr. Jasper Jones and the Bell Family during and after this period of bereavement.