Joe Louis Jones

Joe Louis Jones: Guru of Shelby County joined his loving wife, Gloria Ann Simon Jones on May 10, 2021.  At the time of death he resided in College Station, TX with his son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Michelle Jones.  Joe was born May 4, 1927, in Center.  He was a 4th generation resident of Shelby County, where his great grandfather, Louis Jones, settled in the Newburn area before the mid-19th century after leaving Indiana on a house boat.  Joe Louis resided in Center most of his life and graduated from Center High School in 1944.  After a short stint in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California, he moved into Ms. Atkin’s boarding house on Mound St. in Nacogdoches while he completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture on the GI Bill from Stephen F. Austin State College.  

As a life-long resident of Shelby County, Joe, had a variety of responsibilities. He swept out the State Guaranty Bond Bank for his Father, Vice President of the bank; chopped cotton on the farm near Smith Creek north of Center in the summers after school let out; waited the counter and closed out the register at the end of the night at the Brian Bailey Café on the square; as a young father milked 37 head of Jersey cows twice a day at the same time he worked as a teller in the bank he’d swept out as a child; owned a wholesale/retail business, owned a cow/calf operation on the same farm he’d chopped cotton and milked cows; imported the first Pinzgauer cow (red and white) into the U.S. from Europe, with his unique wit and dry humor, he always said “The prettiest color a cow can be is green at selling time;” served as Center Little League Coach (Worlds Greatest Coach 1966) and the Center Noon Lions Club Tail Twister; worked with the Texas Archeological Society in evaluation of several archeological sites of significance in Shelby county as a self-taught archeologist; served as the Shelby County Historic Courthouse Docent; and was a loving and devoted Husband; Father; and Grandfather.

Some may remember him as the Master of Ceremonies at the Center Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquets; the Red Wing and cowboy boot dealer at Thrifty Discount Shoes, one block east of the square behind the old post office or maybe you toured the Shelby County Historic Courthouse for a dose of Joe Louis’ stories, history, and humor of Shelby County.  

He loved, was loved, and was preceded in death by his beautiful and loving wife of 64 years, Gloria “Ann” Simon Jones.  He is survived by his daughter, Traci Ellen Jones of Missouri City; his son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Michelle Jones of College Station; grandchildren, Daniel Jones and wife, Danielle; Natalie Jones; Brittany Yoder and husband Kyle; Chris Braaton and fiancée Rosa Locke; and Nick Braaton and wife Lauren; great-grandchildren Sloan Yoder, Caden Braaton, Gage Yoder, Kylie Graham, and Kaylin Graham.

Graveside service will be held 3:00 p.m., Saturday, May 22, 2021, at Oaklawn Memorial Park in Center with visitation at Watson & Sons Funeral Home beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Reverend Malcolm Monroe will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the First United Methodist Church, 211 Porter Street, Center, Texas  75935.



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