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Barbara Jean Jones, who founded Mount Ararat Baptist Church with her husband, the late Rev. Willis Lee Jones, died Saturday (Dec. 20, 1997) in a head-on collision in the Orleans County town of Barre. She was 59.

Mrs. Jones, of Buffalo, was driving her car north on Route 98 when it crossed into the southbound lane and collided with a car driven by an Albion woman, according to state police. Three people in the other car were injured.

The Rev. W.L. Jones Community Center at 422 Pratt St. is named for her husband, who died in 1992.

After Mount Ararat Church opened at 603 Clinton St. in 1964, Mrs. Jones took charge of the Helping Hands Committee and worked with the senior choir and the Missionary Society. The church later moved to 971 Jefferson Ave., two blocks from War Memorial Stadium.

Mrs. Jones also supported her husband's efforts to revitalize the Jefferson-Best community in developing the God City project. There ensued the first new construction in 20 years in the neighborhood, including the God City senior housing project and the Makowski Early Childhood Center.

The former Barbara Clay was born in Lake Providence, La.

Through the years, she worked as a nurse's aide at Deaconess Hospital and a teacher's aide in the public schools. Her interaction with young people earned her the nickname "Honey Mom."

In later years, Mrs. Jones, a graduate of Peter Piccolo School of Hair Design, opened Rainbow Beauty Salon. She also enjoyed gardening.

Survivors include four daughters, Darlene, Lucy Atkinson, Jackie Flemming and Carmetris Harper; four sons, Lester of Mountainview, Calif., Dwain of Rochester, Willis II and the Rev. Joseph K.; 15 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Friendship Baptist Church, 402 Clinton St. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.


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