Billy Ray Jones, 83, went home to be with Jesus on June 26, 2016 at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center.  Mr. Jones, son of John Starkey Jones and Pearl Lee (Cook) Jones, was born June 8, 1933 in Egypt Arkansas.  He grew up on a farm and never got away from the soil.  He enjoyed growing vegetables and strawberries and sharing them.  He loved to take Bonnie Knowles and Betty Absheer corn on the cob.

One of his conversation starters was, “Did you ever pick any cotton”?  He would pick 450 lbs. a day to supplement his G. I. Bill to support his family while in college.  He served in the Air Force during the Korean War and spent his overseas time on Misawa AFB and on an outpost in northern Japan.

He attended Southern Baptist College (Williams) and Arkansas State College (University) and Bailey Technical School in St. Louis.  He helped build Hopkins Fertilizer and Grain in Qulin, MO , and later retired from Ozark Border Electric Cooperative.

He was a cheerful encourager to those he worked with and met along the way.  His smile was always evident as he endured to the end (2 Tim. 2:12a) in his battle with dementia.  He loved the Lord and served Him in many ways at the United Methodist Church in Qulin and cheerfully drove the bus at First Church of God in Poplar Bluff, where he was a member.  He was a man of God, serving where he could, at every opportunity.

Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Rosalie (Hopkins); daughter Lisa and husband Edwin DeGaris, of Poplar Bluff, son Lane and wife Paula Jones of Oak Ridge, MO; special daughters Karen Kohler, Nancy Jordan, and Fonda Eden; 5 grandchildren: Christopher DeGaris and wife Michelle, Elizabeth (DeGaris) Christian, Ross DeGaris and wife Pam, all of Poplar Bluff, Dylan Jones and Jesse Jones both of Austin, TX; 8 great-grandchildren, Abagail and Luke Christian, Annalise, Emma, and Ashton DeGaris, Garen, Shianne, and Kara Thomas; 2 great-great-grandchildren Brody and Aubrey.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 4 brothers: infant Denny, Larry, Danny, and Dennis Jones; 3 brothers-in-law: Terry Rorex, Bill Romine, and Don Hopkins; and 1 great-grandchild: Austin DeGaris.

Visitation will be 5:30-8pm Wednesday, June 29 at First Church of God in Poplar Bluff.  The funeral service will be Thursday, June 30, at 1pm at the First Church of God.  Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery on Hwy 21 Doniphan.

Memorials may be made to: First Church of God Memorial Fund, 3482 S. Westwood Blvd. Poplar Bluff, Mo  63901