Civil rights icon and war hero Johnny Jones laid to rest
BATON ROUGE - A full gospel choir was on hand for the funeral of civil rights attorney Johnny Jones, Sr., but Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge was half full for the service.
Those who did come included black political and business leaders.
"What I'm going to remember most about him is that he took an active part in making this city, this state, and the United States a better place to live," Jones' cousin, John A. Jones, said.
Jones was hired fresh out of law school to work on the 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge, two years before the one in Montgomery, Ala. led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The attorney also helped desegregate lunch counters in the state.
"He paved the road for the black young people and all they need to follow in it now," Jones' niece, Cassandra Richardson, said.
Despite Jones' heavy workload with the civil rights fight, he always made time for his nieces and nephews.
"His conversations about law, of how to treat people and carry yourself as a human being," Jones's cousin, George Jones, said is what he would miss most about his uncle.
Jones also fought in WWII and was wounded in the 1944 D-Day invasion. He was not awarded a purple heart until last year, 77 years after he was hit by shrapnel on the battlefield.
"People finally recognized that what he did was outstanding enough to be able to receive the Purple Heart, and we're happy that he did," John A. Jones said.
Jones was buried at the Louisiana National Cemetery in Zachary with full military honors.
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