Magistrate Court Judge John Paul Jones passed away Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Jones had served in the magistrate court since 2000 and continued his work up until his death, said Chief Magistrate Court Judge Thomas Moseley.
“I’ll tell you, there wasn’t a better man in the world. He was always here. He was always willing to do anything that you asked of him, go well out of his way to be helpful,” Moseley said. “You couldn’t ask for a better — I don’t refer to him as an employee, although I guess technically he was, but he was a good friend.”
Jones was a veteran of the U.S. Army, according to his obituary, and was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Johnson Jones, in 2010. His full obituary can be found on page 2A. Services are scheduled for today at 6 p.m. at Owen Funeral Home.
Moseley said Jones was from south Georgia, and his fondest memories of his colleague related to Jones’ stories of his childhood.
“Well, the best memories [of] Judge Jones [are] just sitting around talking issues and his memories of his childhood growing up compared to mine and some of the other folks here. He grew up down in south Georgia on the farm, and I grew up here in town, and just his storytelling abilities and his willingness to share his experiences with the rest of us,” he said.
Monica Welchel, chief clerk of the magistrate court, said Jones would be missed.
“Well, I don’t know. It’s hard. It’s hard for me to even right now to talk about it, because he was like a grandfather to me,” she said. “He helped so many people through so many things.”
When sitting on the bench, Moseley said, Jones had one style in running his courtroom.
“I think his style was the same all the time. He was friendly. He was polite. He was what everybody thinks of as a Southern gentleman, and he had that south Georgia accent to go with it,” Moseley said. “He treated everybody fairly, evenly calmly and quietly. He was just a good fella.”