Gilbert Earl Jones was born September 17, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama, to Eula Mae McGifford and Wilbert Woods. After living in Uniontown, PA for a few years, the family relocated to Chicago, Illinois when Gilbert was eight years old.
Gilbert graduated from Chicago Vocational High School in 1963. As a lover and player of all sports, football was his favorite. Right after high school, Gilbert joined the United States Army where he proudly served and was honorably discharged after three years. Immediately following his discharge from the military, Gilbert worked for the Chicago Transit Authority. While driving his bus route in the summer of 1969, the girl of his dream, Angel, stepped on his bus. From the day he first saw her, he knew he would marry her.
Gilbert had an impeccable work ethic. He went to work no matter what. He drove the bus faithfully and retired after 28 years of service. Not one to be idle for long, Gilbert worked tirelessly, including working for Chicago Motor Coach, UPS, over the road driving with Werner Trucking, as well as establishing the family business. And as if this wasn’t enough, at the age of 58 he began another career working for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for 18 years. Prior to becoming ill, he was two months shy of a second retirement.
Gilbert and Angel’s home was blessed with three children: Jay, Melissa, and Katie. His love for his family was unparalleled and unconditional. He was unapologetically the patriarch, never one to beat around the bush and never wavering in this role. He was proud beyond measure of his kids, grandkids as well as great grandchildren. Even in the hospital, he bragged about his offspring as he told stories about their numerous achievements. He instilled in them a love for God, family, and country. In home bible study was a regular occurrence with his children. He truly loved his wife Angel, the love of his life. His last words were “I really love that woman.”
In his teen years Gilbert accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior under the leadership of Pastor S.P. Dunn of Langley Avenue Church of God. He strayed away but in 1988, like the prodigal son, he returned to the Lord. After this, he spread the good news to anyone who would listen, especially to those on his bus route.
Gilbert was a lover of learning. He collected and read hundreds, if not thousands of books over the years. He was known to pass out copies of his favorite books to those he encountered, including the Bible. One of his favorites was “Wild at Heart.” As a critical thinker, he attended Moody Bible Institute as a way to further develop his understanding of God’s Word.
Gilbert was affectionately known as Gil, Sonny, Big Jones, and the General. After being an ordained deacon, in 1994 the Lord called him to preach the gospel and he became a licensed minister. Through the years, he served in many capacities, including the Boys to Men ministry, teen bible class leader, Sunday school teacher, and finally Director of My Brother’s Keeper Men’s Ministry at Christ Bible Church. Gilbert was a man’s man, and he knew that his calling was the building of men. His life demonstrated the meaning of men being patriarch, priest, provider and protectors of their homes.
Gilbert Earl Jones departed this life in the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 15, 2021, two days before his 77th birthday. He was proceeded in death by his father Wilbert Woods, his mother, Eula Mae Jones, his sisters Wilberetta Woods and Deborah Jones, as well as his brother Ronald Woods.
He leaves to cherish his memory and continue his legacy: the love of his life, his wife Angelique (Angel) Jones, his son Jeremiah Jones (Sandra), his daughters Melissa McVey (Keith), and Katherine Jones. Grandchildren Jeremiah Jones II, Jeffrey Jones (Julia), Justin Jones, Angelique Pondexter (Bradley), Jaelin Jones, Hayley Dotson. Great Grandchildren, Luna Rose, Melanie Marie, Jordan Alize, Summer Reigh, Jeremiah Joshua as well as one more on the way. His brothers, Gilbert Woods (Cheryl) and Ronnie McNeal (Tamika). His sisters, Mary Beasley, Delores Darden and Gloria Woods. He also leaves countless cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and beloved church members to treasure his memory.
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