The wake service will be conducted on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at Josh Gibson Family Resource Center, 116 Rogers Street, Buena Vista, Georgia from 6:00 pm – 8:00 P.M.
The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, McDuffie Street, Buena Vista, Georgia. Interment will follow in Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church Cemetery. Pastor Gregory Porter will officiate.
Estella Hillsman Jones, a native of Buena Vista, Marion County, Georgia was born March 28, 1920 to Maggie Ponder and Ezekiel Taylor. She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, "Limp, Frankie, W.C., Johnnie, and J.D."; and sisters, "Mary Lene, Hazel, and Mary Lee." Due to hardship and out of love for her children, Maggie Ponder allowed her baby girl to be adopted by Reverend William Thomas Hillsman and his wife, Mary.
The daughter of a Baptist preacher, Estella, became acquainted with the Lord at a very early age. She joined Mt. Zion Baptist Church in 1930 and served faithfully for 85 years. As a faithful member, she served as Superintendent of Sunday School, Secretary of the Senior Choir, Program Committee Chairperson, a Deaconess, and Mother of the Church.
Estella, as she was affectionately called by loved ones and friends, completed grades 1 through 11, which was standard curriculum for the Marion County School System of Buena Vista, Georgia. Knowing other cities offered a 12-year curriculum, she convinced her mother to allow her to live with a family friend in Randolph County to complete the 12th grade. At the age of 18, Estella Hillsman began her career as a high school teacher. She went on to receive a BS Degree from Albany State College in Elementary Education. She received certifications in Math and English from Fort Valley State College and a master's degree in Guidance and Counseling from Tuskegee Institute. As an educator, she worked as a classroom teacher for Muscogee, Schley, and Marion Counties and as a counselor at Buena Vista High, Marion County High, and Tri County High Schools. During her tenure at Buena Vista High, she coached girls' basketball, served as junior and senior class advisor, and Girl Scout advisor.
Always involved in her community, Estella was a member of the Top Twenty Civic and Social Club, member of Yuletide Chapter No. 383, Order of Eastern Star, Superintendent of Elections for the City of Buena Vista, Georgia Retired Educators Association, a mentor for young mothers, and the Marion Memorial Nursing Home Advisory Board.
Her beauty and grace captured the eye of Roscoe Jones, and they became partners in love and marriage in November of 1954. To this union, they were blessed with two children, Janis and Albert. This family joined together and welcomed an older son, Linwood, and later a younger son, David. This union was blessed for a period of 42 years until Roscoe's death in 1997.
Estella leaves to cherish her memory: four children, Linwood Jones, Buena Vista, Georgia, Janis Troup, Miami Gardens, Florida, Albert Jones (Linda), Albany, Georgia, and David Jones (Shelia), Orlando, Florida; brother, Cecil Faniel (Juanita), Melbourne, Florida; sister, Clara Mott, Ocala, Florida; ten grandchildren, Yolanda Kelley, Atlanta, Georgia, Mea Troup, Miami, Florida, Markita Douglas (Kevin), Buena Vista, Georgia, Samuel Troup, Miami, Florida, Ebonee Jones, and Allyn Jones, both of Albany, Georgia, Jazzman Hines, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Davida Jones, Yahzsmyne Jones, and David Jones, all of Rochester, New York; five great grandchildren, three great great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.