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‘Celebration of Life’ for community leader Willie Jones will be held tomorrow

June 17. A Celebration of Life for Willie Mason Jones Jr., the inaugural executive director of the Smithville Community Coalition, will be at noon Tuesday, June 18, with visitation starting an hour before at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 232 Skyland Ave. in Charlotte.

Food and fellowship will follow.

Willie Jones

A life well lived

He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to affordable housing, community development, and social justice at the Affordable Housing Awareness Month breakfast hosted by Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region.

His deep commitment to and involvement with the Smithville Community Coalition in Cornelius is a lasting legacy that will preserve affordable housing in this historically Black community long into the future.

He will be remembered for his love of family and friends, his commitment to social justice, his profound impact on everyone he met, his deep thinking, his sense of humor, and his perseverance.

Jones’s leadership was instrumental in the production of over 5,000 units of affordable or mixed-income housing, valued at more than $500 million. He was inducted into the Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Hall of Fame, recognizing his significant impact on affordable housing and urban development.

‘Retirement’ in Cornelius

After retiring and relocating to Cornelius in 2014, he earned a Master of Theological Studies from Hood Theological Seminary in 2016 and was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in 2018.

He has also assisted churches in restructuring their debt to free up resources for active ministries. His efforts have led to the development of 112-unit and 72-unit affordable housing initiatives in Charlotte.

He and his wife Pam Jones received Individual Diversity Champion awards from the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce in 2018.