Earle Jones gave much to so many

Earle F. Jones, a successful Jackson businessman and a great friend of Mississippi sports and your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, died Tuesday, August 6, following a lengthy illness.

Irene and Earle Jones at The Final Four.

“Earle Jones was just a good, good man,” Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame coach Marino Casem said. “Earle didn’t have a predjudiced bone in body. He was a great Mississippian, and he was always in my corner.”

Jones, a California native and UCLA and Harvard Business School graduate, came to Mississippi in 1956 with his new bride, Irene. Here, he entered the motel and hotel business.

He combined a successful and busy career with a wide range of charitable and civic interests, supporting countless entities, including this Hall of Fame.

Betty and Marino Casem, from The Final Four.

Said Hall of Fame board member Cal Wells, “Earle and I worked together as co-chairs of the Mississippi Olympic committee. He loved sports, especially the Olympics and basketball.”

Wells remembers Jones as “such a dignified gentleman, a man who loved to travel, loved to have a good time and loved to help his friends have a good time.”

Wells, Casem, Earle and Irene Jones and the late Michael Rubenstein were all members of a group that traveled annually to the Final Four.

“We had a group of people from all over the country who came together every year at the Final Four,” Wells said. “We called ourselves the Far Flung Friends of the Fabulous Final Four. Earle was the dean of the group, the man who put it all together, blocked the rooms, scheduled the dinners.”

Far Flung Friends of the Fabulous Final Four.

Said Casem, “Those Final Four trips were some of the finest times of my life.”

Jones is survived by his wife, three children and five grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, August 12, at St. Richard Catholic Church. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Sunday, August 11, at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Ridgeland.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jones Habitat House, c/o Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 55634, Jackson, MS 39296 or St. Richard’s Catholic Church, P. O. Box 16547, Jackson, MS 39236.

Two friends: Marino Casem and Earle Jones.

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