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Saturday, July 22, 2023
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Saturday, July 22, 2023
4:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)
Phyllis Ann Johnson Jones died of cancer Thursday, July 13, 2023, at the home of her oldest son in Brunswick, Ga. She was 74.
Born Jan. 2, 1949, in Elberton, Ga., to the late Alonzo Wilton “A.W” Johnson and late Lizzie Lee Johnson (née Madden), Phyllis was a woman ahead of her time and known for her vivid, determined sense of life. She was beloved in Berkeley Lake, Ga., where she and her now-former husband, Gary, raised their two sons Tyler and Baker. She was one of the founding members of the garden club B.L.O.S.O.M.S. (Berkeley Lake Organized Society of Mud Slingers). With fellow B.L.O.S.O.M.S., Phyllis and others worked under the guise of a garden club, though very little planting and pruning ever happened.
Established in August 1989, the group organized civic events to better and brighten the community. Among the traditions she helped launch was an annual Easter Egg Hunt, the “Trash and Treasures” flea market, Halloween haunted houses and beloved community carnivals. She was also well-known throughout Berkeley Lake as a talented cook and would often donate her signature dishes for families in difficult times and other events.
She and her family moved from Berkeley Lake to LaGrange, Ga., in 1999. She continued her service to others there, volunteering frequently at hospice.
For a career, Phyllis was primarily a bookkeeper. During her life, she worked for Texas Instruments in Atlanta, was one of the first women to sell cars in Athens, Ga., and rounded out her work life at Edelson’s Army Store in LaGrange, again as a bookkeeper. She retired in 2008.
Phyllis was known for her charm and wit (she kept her sense of humor to the end), but was never shy to show her competitive side. She was a competition sporting clay shooter, and spent many a weekend traveling to courses across Georgia visiting clay courses. She was also a talented water-skier, capable of skiing slalom, and loved teaching young people how to ski.
Phyllis was raised at the end of a long dirt road, surrounded by Georgia cotton fields, where she was the youngest of seven children. She was often found hiding in the family barn’s loft, reading and napping among piles of recently harvested cotton. Fearless and tough as she was, it would take some coaxing from her older sisters, Elaine and the late Patricia, to get her to jump from her reading nook into the prickly piles of raw King Cotton.
Most of all, those who knew and loved her will remember a woman who loved the Episcopal Church, her children, her family, and her community with her full, open heart. She was, above all else, a genuinely dedicated, devoted mother, who brimmed with compassion, grace and fortitude. Her fighting spirit will live in on her children and through her community endeavors. Phyllis may have had a small physical stature, but will leave behind an unsurmountable void. She spent the last two months of her life among the Spanish moss-draped live oaks of coastal Georgia in home-hospice care surrounded by her loved ones. She was truly comfortable and happy.
She is survived by her former husband, Gary H. Jones, and adult sons Tyler H. Jones and G. Baker Jones, all of Brunswick, her sister Elaine Gunter of Elberton, and brothers Max Johnson and Johnny Johnson of Elberton. She is preceded in death by her late sisters Patricia Rice and Hilda Allen, and late brother Phillip Johnson.
Phyllis’s funeral will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 22, 2023, at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 109 Brookside Dr., Elberton, Ga., with the Rev. Reid Hamilton officiating. The funeral is open to the public. Immediately following, she will be laid to rest at Forest Hills Memorial Park in Elberton next to her parents during a family-only Committal and Consecration of the Grave.
Directly after her funeral, family and friends are invited for their comfort to a catered reception at the McIntosh Coffee Shoppe, 24 N. McIntosh St., Elberton, Ga. The family will join everyone there after the Consecration of the Grave.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glory of God and in remembrance of Phyllis Jones by mail to the Rector's Discretionary Fund, St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 109 Brookside Dr., Elberton, Ga., 30635.
Those wishing may sign the online guestbook at www.berryfh.com.
Berry Funeral Home of Elberton, Ga. is in charge of arrangements.