Obituaries for Thursday, July 22, 2004

By Staff
Retired business owner
Services for La Belle Jones will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at New Hope Baptist Church with the Rev. Zacary Finley officiating. Burial will be in Meridian Memorial Park Cemetery. Berry and Gardner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Jones, 95, of Meridian, died Friday, July 16, 2004, at Stoddard Nursing Center in Washington, D.C. She was born on Jan. 22, 1909, the second of five children born to Lettie Burwell and Jenkins C. Crowell. Her early childhood education began in the rural community of Pleasant Grove at the Mount Sinai School where her late aunt, Iona Hogan, was her first teacher. Her family later moved to Meridian and she graduated from Meridian Baptist Seminary in 1926.
In her early years, LaBelle was baptized in Hognose Creek by her late uncle, the Rev. J.W. Burwell, then pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. When her family moved to Meridian, LaBelle joined New Hope Baptist Church and for many years maintained dual membership and active participation in both churches.
During the latter 1920's, she met and married William Albert Jones Jr., of Demopolis, Ala., on Feb. 27, 1928.
Throughout the 1930's, she worked as a commercial seamstress for a diverse clientele- an exceptional achievement considering the strict segregation of the time. In 1941, she and Albert opened a supply shop on Fifth Street in downtown Meridian from which souvenirs, notions, patent medicines, and gift items could be purchased. A shoeshine stand was later installed providing employment for their son and two other young boys. Still later, a food concession was included and to LaBelle's managerial responsibilities were added those of cook, cashier, and bookkeeper. During the Civil Rights struggles in the 1950's and 1960's, notables from the NAACP, CORE, SNCC, etc., such as James Farmer, Charles Evers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman could be seen dining at LaBelle's tables in their restaurant. While fulfilling the above responsibilities well, she, at the same time, was a very nurturing, caring, and loving mother and grandmother.
In the 1970's the business known as Jones Supply Shop and Jones Steak House closed and LaBelle was afforded the opportunity to travel. Her travel took her throughout the United States and the Caribbean, Europe, and Japan. She and her husband of nearly 60 years enjoyed many years of retirement together.
LaBelle continued to be active at New Hope Baptist Church. In January 2001, at age 92, she moved to Washington, D.C., to be with her son and his family. She possessed an ever present sense of humor, a fondness of weekly excursions through the city, and a taste of "just a little something sweet after dinner."
Survivors include her son, William Albert Jones III, and his wife, Virgie, of Washington, D.C; grandchildren, Kenneth Albert Jones and his wife, Yolanda, of Columbus, Barry Harlan and Judith Lynn, both of Washington, D.C.; great-grandchildren, Stacey Akers, Melanie Janelle Jones, Tia Dickinson Pickett, Dara Zenobia Jones, Asha Zekiya Jones, and Adjua Kai Jones and two great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Marjorie C. Bryant of Dallas; six nieces, three nephews and several other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lettie Burwell and Jenkins C. Crowell; her husband, William Albert Jones Jr.
Memorials may be made to the New Hope Baptist Church Scholarship Fund.
Visitation will be Friday 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Retired
YORK, Ala. Services for Billye Smith Ballow McElory will be held today at 11 a.m. at Livingston United Methodist Church with the Rev. Tim Meadows officiating. Burial will be in the Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery in Pennington at 3 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Highlands United Methodist Church in Huntsville on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004 at 10 a.m.
Mrs. McElroy, 95, of Huntsville, died Tuesday, July 20, 2004, in her home. She was born "Will Frank Smith" to Joshua and Callie Woolf Smith in Naheola, on Nov. 10, 1908. She was the fifth of 12 children and spent her early years in Choctaw County. She moved to Livingston with her family in 1928 and attended Livingston Normal School (later Livingston State Teachers College, Livingston University and now University of West Alabama.) After a brief teaching career she began working in the Probate Judges' office and in 1937, began a long career in the U.S. Postal Service. She worked first as a clerk and later as a Postmaster, a position that she held until her retirement in 1973. She married John Thomas Ballow in 1934 and had two daughters, and raised them with the help of her mother after her husband's death. In 1946 she married Harold LaFayett "Skinny" McElroy. In 2000, she moved from Livingston to Huntsville, to live with her daughter, Sylvia Gullatt and her husband, Ed. She lived a long, healthy, active life until her last few years. She enjoyed her family, friends, church, fellow postal employees, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and friends.
Survivors include her sister, Carolyn Smith Menefee; her daughter, Sylvia Ballow Gullatt and her husband, Ed; grandchildren, Cynthia Lynn Briney Knaus and her husband, Bill, Jeffrey Briney and his wife, Julie, Marilou Briney Baker and her husband, Chum, John Paul Briney and his wife, Meyvi, Greg Gullatt, Ken Gullatt, Bill Gullatt and his wife, Dorene, and Carol Gullatt; great-grandchildren, Benjamin Briney, Brighid Briney, Betsie Briney, Rolfe Briney, Bethany Gullatt, Sarah Gullatt, Rachel Gullatt and Charlie Baker and several friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Joshua and Callie Smith; her first husband, John T. Ballow; her second husband, Harold L. McElroy; siblings, Lena Lee Smith Edwards, Annie Ruth Smith Edwards, John M. Smith, Fannie Maude Smith Frazier, Jimmy Smith, Massey W. Smith, Henry W. Smith, Mary Smith Parnell, Mildred Smith and Paul Smith and a daughter, Marilyn Cooper Ballow Briney.
Memorials may be made to Livingston United Methodist Church, or Highlands United Methodist Church in Huntsville.
Visitation will be today one hour prior to the service at the church.
Cattle farmer
YORK, Ala. Graveside services for Henry Jackson Crumpton will be held today at 6 p.m. at Central Cemetery with the Rev. Knox Poole officiating. Bumpers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Crumpton, 86, of Emelle, Ala., died Tuesday, July 20, 2004, at Rush Foundation Hospital.
Survivors include Sara Richardson Crumpton of Emelle; daughters, Sara Buck and her husband, Pat, and Bell Smitherman and her husband, Tommy, all of Emelle and three grandchildren.
Visitation will be today after the services at the Smitherman home, 30996 Alabama Highway 17 in Emelle.

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