Melvina Lee Jones was born into Eternal Life, Sunday July 25, 2021, at the Lake Hills Love and Care Adult Family Home in Bellevue, Washington. Born on March 28, 1929 to Hilda (Berard) Lee and Adam Lee Sr., as the second of seven children, she participated in the Great Migration, leaving Lake Charles, Louisiana, armed with her Sacred Heart of Jesus education and its historic commitment to African American community building. She arrived in Seattle, poised to participate in another historical epoch…the United States Postal Service embracing equality. She and sister Mary Ruth arrived as scouts--her family would follow in 1950.
There she met and married Raymond Leslie Jones, his brother (Theodore) and what would later be her sister-in-law (Archie). Ray left the USPS, attended and graduated from Seattle University becoming an accountant at Boeing. To this union came three children (Linda, Jeffrey and Theodore). Before the third arrived, they took the bold step of becoming entrepreneurs developing Jones Fuel. Nothing escaped Melvina’s gaze from the picture window of 1409 26th Avenue. From there, she parented three, “manned” phones, took orders, grew roses, served customers, and with her husband and partner, managed fuel deliveries.
They stayed in the Central Area; attended Epiphany, built & stabilized community, investing in properties surrounding theirs. He sat on the Liberty Bank Board of Directors. She learned business acumen.
The business supported one nuclear family, several driver’s families, buoyed those in need of section eight housing, kept the community warm and would ultimately send three children to the University of Washington. Raymond died (June 1997). As a widow, she would receive minority business accolades, manage the fuel business, curate investment properties and finish rearing their children.
Eventually, she moved to a larger house with a spectacular view while remaining a visible presence back in the Central Area. She endured a mother’s worst nightmare losing both sons (Teddy and Jeffrey) in February and March of 2004. This marked yet another historic shift for her surviving daughter (Linda). She contributed to the graduation with honors of her granddaughter Kyla continuing a Jones presence at Seattle University (Great grand Mikayla goes there now). Continuing community…
Melvina, second in birth; she was third in departure; following Joyce Donnell and Dorothy Jones. She is survived by four siblings: (Mary Ruth Shadrick, Adam Lee, Jr., Elizabeth Jordan and Donella Goudeau (Joseph); one sister-in-law: Archie M. Jones, (briefly) by one daughter: Linda Rae Jones; one fictive daughter-in-law: Rochelle Williams (George); two grandchildren: grandson Jamar Jones, his children: Mikayla, Amari and Jamari; and granddaughter Kyla Jones; a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and a son who adopted her, Charles Wilson.
A memorial service for two generations will lovingly occur, on September 17, 2021, at Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Central Area Senior Center, a community place, important to them both.