A radioman and sailor aboard the USS Bayfield during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, Jones graduated with his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural science from Auburn University. He went on to serve as an extension agent for Auburn in the Walker County area, then as a 4-H coordinator in Walker County from 1954 until 1982, training more than 25,000 young people during his career. In 2007, he was nominated for the National 4-H Hall of Fame after producing more than 100 district, state and national 4-H award winners. For many years, Dempsey continued to offer agricultural wisdom to locals in "Over the Fence," his weekly column to the Daily Mountain Eagle. His kindness and service are well-remembered by past and present Walker County 4-H members.
Jones was an active member of the Sixth Avenue Church of Christ, where he served as an elder for more than 45 years.
Known affectionately as “Pop” to all who met and loved him, he will long be remembered for his extensive Volkswagen collection, his sense of humor, his enthusiasm for service, his love for young people, his passion for Auburn University, and his adoration for the Savior.
Jones was preceded in death by his siblings, Roy Jones of Caledonia, Miss., Cecil Jones of Columbus, Miss., Raymond Dowell Jones of Decatur and Helon Jones and Gene Jones of Lamar County.
He is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 66 years, Ruth Wheeler Jones; his three children, Rachel Thomason (Tom) of Birmingham; Debbie Morris (Richard) of Jasper; and William Dempsey "Bill" (Twyla) Jones Jr. of Birmingham; his sisters, Josie Jones Wheeler of Tuscaloosa, and Willie Mae Taggart of Vernon; his grandchildren, Lindsay Walker (Scott), Dr. Brad Morris (Jennifer), Kristin Pratt (Neil), Beth Soechting (Dustin), Jordan Jones (Annie) and Juliana May (Jordan); five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
All who knew Dempsey were blessed by his life and will miss him terribly.
Thanks go to Celeste, Brandy and the entire local Veteran's Administration staff for their care of Dempsey during his later days.
Visitation will be from noon until 2 p.m. today, Feb. 23, 2013, at Sixth Avenue Church of Christ. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. today at Sixth Avenue Church of Christ. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Levi Sides, Bill Jones (son), Brad Morris (grandson), Jordan Jones (grandson), Neil Evans and Patrick Morrison will officiate.
You may register online at www.kilgoregreenfuneralhome. com.