Inez was born in Boynton, Okla., on Sept. 12, 1928, to the late Gertrude Espy-Palmer-Richardson and Luther Palmer. She was the fourth child born to this union. She has one sister Nada Mae Heard and three brothers, Grover Palmer, Leon Palmer, a deceased half-brother and Jack Palmer, a deceased half-brother.
She grew up in Roswell where she attended segregated public schools. She graduated from George Washington Carver High School on May 23, 1952. After completing high school, she met and married Johnnie Jones, deceased, on July 19, 1946, at the home of Inez’ parents by the Rev. O. F. Dixon, deceased. She became a member of Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church at a young age. At age 14, she won first place for a Bible school essay contest at Mt. Gilead and received a new Holy Bible as her prize which was awarded to her by Will Purdy on July 16, 1943. Inez cherished that Bible and died with it beside her. She was a faithful and active member in the church for more than 70 years. She served as an usher, treasurer and member of the church choir. Inez was recently honored by Mt. Gilead For faithfulness on its 100 year anniversary. She was given a plaque for this honor by Rev. C. Robinson, former pastor. Also, Inez became a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in New Mexico.
On June 1, 1956, she began working at Mountain Bell Telephone Company where she received numerous service and appreciation awards. Inez loved Roswell and became active in the community. She joined the TelecomPioneers (Jinglebob Pioneers) and became a life member. As an active member of the Pioneers, she served as a mentor for students to help improve literacy. She was devoted to the Pioneers patriotic philosophy in helping military families and veterans. She also contributed to numerous charitable organizations and causes. She was an active member of the Communications Workers of America AFL-CIO Local No. 8609. Inez later worked, part-time, for the Roswell Police Department where she became the first African-American female police officer. According to Mr. Richard D. Lucero, community relations representative of the Roswell Neighborhood Crime Watch, “She may be the first female Auxiliary Police Officer in Roswell.” She received an award from the Honorable James B. Lewis, treasurer of the State of New Mexico, appointing her Guardian of the Treasury in October 1990. On June 28, 1985, she retired from Mountain Bell. Inez loved to travel. So after her retirement, she traveled around the world to visit friends with her sister and late brother Jack Palmer. She traveled to exotic countries such as Kenya and Nigeria, Africa, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Canada and Germany.
She leaves to cherish her memories her daughter Marcella C. Jones of Albuquerque; her son Hon. Johnnie A. Jones III, Esq. of Chestertown, Maryland/Washington, D.C.; her grandsons, Sterling Nichols II of Albuquerque and Marquis Aaron Jones of Oklahoma City; her granddaughters, Jacqueline Inez Bagwell of Dallas, Jerika Rebekah Lynn Selph-Jones of Albuquerque and numerous great-grandchildren as well as many other relatives and good friends. Inez will be remembered for her love for family, friends, church and community outreach. We Love You Inez! May you rest in peace with God.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 28, 2013, at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, 700 E. Summit with Rev. Allen officiating. Burial to follow in South Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, March 26, 2013, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday, March 27, 2013, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories with the family in the online registry book at andersonbethany.com.
Services are under the direction of Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.