Paul David (P.D.) Jones was born in Waynesville, NC on April 17, 1939 to James Dillard Jones and Hazel Blanche Rabb. He was an athletic, talented, hard-working, and tenacious man; the kind of person you call when a task is too difficult for most to see through to completion. He was young, scrappy and smaller in stature when he played football and baseball for the Newport News High School “Typhoons” and the Newport News Shipyard Apprentice School “Builders” teams. But where he may have lacked in size, he made up for in determination, perseverance, and heart. And that kind of heart is what led him to marry Barbara, a woman with four kids who had suffered great loss. Though not his own, he scooped up the son and three little sisters to provide the security, value, and love they greatly needed. He then did the same with his eleven Grandkids and his ten Great-Grandkids. That many kids and grandkids can be a real circus, but he handled it with aplomb- all while working a full time position as a Production Controller for the NN Shipyard (for over 60 years) and owning the Grey Goose Team Room in downtown Hampton. He played taxi for and attended all their swim meets, baseball games, dance recitals, band concerts, plays, ballet classes and more! On those days, he loved to treat them to a nostalgic ice cream cone or burger from a spot that he “used to go to when he was a kid.”
One story he used to tell his kids and grandkids was of a particular football game for The Apprentice School. The Builders were short some players and the coach knew that he could count on “Jones” to get the job done. The coach threw him in to play both offense and defense and after four quarters, he’d never left the field. Riddled with exhaustion, barely able to move, and with his team down 77 points, the referee took notice and told him, “Hey, Jones, it’s the end of the game, just fall on the ball.” After this, his teammates carried him off the field. On May 5, when he was admitted to hospice with stage 4 cancer, he never stopped fighting. He fought to stay alert and upbeat when the revolving door of family and friends came to visit. The “end of the game” came too soon for all of us when he went to be in the presence of God early (May 29th) Memorial Day morning. A fitting day to memorialize an amazing man.
Paul David Jones is preceded in death by his parents, Dillard and Hazel Jones and his brother, Charles Jones. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Andrews Jones; son, Dan Goodrich (Karla); daughters Staci Stewart (Bill), Molly Thomas (John), Laurie Williams (Jim), biological daughter, Jennifer Jones; brother, Melvin Jones; 11 grandchildren, Sara Koeck (Will), Hannah Jones (Perry), Maggie Hatfield (Nate), Taylor Stewart (Galen), Lane Thomas, Allie Evans (Brandon), Grace Johnson (Tyler), Tess Zanghi (Marc), Gray Goodrich, Mary Goodrich, and Abby Goodrich; and many Great Grandchildren!
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at All Generations Church (28 Harpersville Rd., Newport News, VA 23601) on Sunday, June 4 at 4:30 in the afternoon. A private graveside burial will be held for family at a later date.