Free­man Ran­dolph Jones

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Obituaries -

GREENSBORO - Free­man R. Jones, 92, a na­tive and long­time res­i­dent of Char­lotte, passed away March 27, 2019 at Well- Spring Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity in Greensboro, NC. For the past 10 years, he and his wife have lived at Well- Spring to be closer to their chil­dren, grand­chil­dren and great grand­chil­dren. He has been mar­ried to He­len Bouldin of Clarks­dale, Mis­sis­sippi for almost 70 years. Free­man was a nat­u­ral leader, an ath­lete and a com­pas­sion­ate man of prin­ci­ple who was not afraid to take a stand. He com­mit­ted his life to ser­vice and pro­mo­tion of his home­town, the Queen City. He was also the per­fect gen­tle­man and a fa­ther and hus­band who show­ered his fam­ily with un­con­di­tional love.

The son of Ed­win Epes Jones and Mary Wil­liams Car­son Jones, Free­man grew up on Hope­dale Av­enue in Char­lotte along with a neigh­bor­hood gang of 17 boys. His fa­ther built a box­ing ring in the back yard to keep them busy and be­cause he be­lieved “ev­ery boy needs to know how to take care of him­self.”

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion from the Dar­ling­ton School in Rome, Ge­or­gia, where he ex­celled in bas­ket­ball and golf, Free­man briefly at­tended David­son col­lege be­fore en­list­ing in the US Naval Air Corps. He served from 1944-1946 in the South Pa­cific as ra­dio oper­a­tor and nose gun­ner in a PB4Y-2 Pri­va­teer bomber squadron. He also put his box­ing skills to work as a light­weight boxer in the navy.

He re­turned to David­son in 1947 where he played on both the golf and bas­ket­ball teams. In later years, af­ter es­tab­lish­ing his busi­ness ca­reer, he grad­u­ated from the Har­vard Busi­ness School Man­age­ment De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram.

Free­man be­gan his 30 year ca­reer in broad­cast­ing dur­ing the early 1950’s in At­lanta as part­ner in an ad­ver­tis­ing sales firm that cov­ered the south­east for ra­dio net­works and for the rapidly emerg­ing tele­vi­sion mar­ket. In 1960, he re­turned to Char­lotte and en­tered busi­ness with his fa­ther, E. E. Jones, a founder of the WSOC tele­vi­sion and ra­dio sta­tions. Free­man be­came sales man­ager for WSOC-TV and AM-FM Ra­dio, then Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager of WSOC. Later, when the sta­tion merged with a larger broad­cast­ing firm, he be­came a Vice Pres­i­dent of Cox Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion. The sta­tion was af­fil­i­ated with ABC Tele­vi­sion and he and his wife He­len en­ter­tained the likes of Barbara Walters and Howard Cosell at their farmin Cabar­ras County. He was also the ed­i­to­rial spokesper­son for the sta­tion and gave weekly tele­vi­sion broad­casts focused on lo­cal and na­tional top­ics dur­ing the lo­cal evening news hour.

Free­man was a tireless com­mu­nity ser­vant. He was a Vice Pres­i­dent and Di­rec­tor of the Char­lotte Cham­ber of Com­merce and served on the boards of First Cit­i­zens Bank, Char­lotte Speech and Hear­ing Cen­ter, Char­lotte Coun­cil on Al­co­holism, Char­lotte Meck­len­burg Hos­pi­tal Author­ity, and the Char­lotte United Com­mu­nity Ser­vices. He served on the Board of Trus­tees for the Alexan­der Chil­dren’s Cen­ter, John­son C. Smith Univer­sity, The Foun­da­tion of UNCC, Inc. and the Board of Vis­i­tors for David­son Col­lege. He was Pub­lic Re­la­tions Chair for a multi- mil­lion dol­lar statewide campaign for Queens Col­lege (now Queens Univer­sity) and David­son Col­lege and was Chair­man of the Char­lotte ABC Board.

He be­lieved in “fam­ily first” and in 1971 with his brother and sis­ter, started a fam­ily real es­tate in­vest­ment firm, EFC Cor­po­ra­tion, with the ex­press in­tent of us­ing busi­ness to keep the fam­ily to­gether over the gen­er­a­tions. It re­mains a small firm but is the rea­son that far flung fam­ily mem­bers of now 4 gen­er­a­tions still get to­gether for the an­nual meet­ing.

He was a man who rarely dis­cussed his deep and abid­ing faith, but clearly ex­pressed it in the many bless­ings he gave for gath­er­ings of fam­ily and friends. He taught Sun­day School and served as an Elder and Vice Moder­a­tor for First Pres­by­te­rian Church in Char­lotte.

Free­man was a life­long golfer and for many years he main­tained his mem­ber­ship at the Peachtree Golf Club in At­lanta. He was from child­hood an avid fish­er­man. At the age of 12, he was the youngest an­gler to re­ceive a gold but­ton from theWest PalmBeach Sil­ver Sail­fish Derby for catch­ing a sail­fish over 8 feet long. He loved dove hunt­ing in the Mis­sis­sippi Delta, fish­ing the San­tee Cooper and, ev­ery year for over 20 years, he and three of his best friends would make the fall blue­fish­ing pil­grim­age to Cape Hat­teras in a Carolina Blue In­ter­na­tional Scout named “Ol’ Blue.”

Af­ter his re­tire­ment from WSOC, he and He­len en­joyed the quiet coun­try life at Cedar­vale Farm in the his­toric 1860’s farm­house they re­stored and listed with the Na­tional Reg­is­ter for His­toric Prop­er­ties. They owned a 45 ft. Hat­teras yacht, the Tiger Lily, and en­joyed cruis­ing the inland wa­ter­way fromtheir home port of Co­quina Har­bor, SC.

He is pre­de­ceased by his par­ents, Mary Car­son and Ed­die E. Jones, brother Ed­die E. Jones, Jr and wife Mar­jorie, sis­ter Mary Car­son and hus­band J. Nor­man Pease, Jr., neph­ews J. Nor­man

Pease III and Ed­win Epes Jones III.

He is sur­vived by his wife He­len Bouldin Jones, son Randy Jones (Lee Lu­cas), daugh­ter Lau­ren Worth (David), 5 grand­chil­dren and four great grand­chil­dren.

The fam­ily would like to of­fer a spe­cial thanks to the nurs­ing staff at Well- Spring As­sisted Liv­ing and Re­hab for giv­ing Dad such lov­ing care.

In lieu of f low­ers, memo­ri­als may be sent to: Union Pres­by­te­rian Sem­i­nary, Jones Schol­ar­ship, 3401 Brook Road, Rich­mond VA 23227; First Pres­by­te­rian Church, Tele­vi­sion Min­istry, 200 West Trade St., Char­lotte, NC 28202; or Hos­pice and Pal­lia­tive Care of Greensboro, Payable to Hos­pice Foun­da­tion of Greater Greensboro, 2500 Sum­mit Av­enue, Greensboro, NC 27405.

A Memo­rial Ser­vice will be held at 2: 00 p. m. Tues­day, April 2nd at the First Pres­by­te­rian Church, 200West Trade Street, Char­lotte, NC.

On­line con­do­lences can be made at www. hanes­lineber­ry­fu­ner­al­homes. com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.