Obituary for Mr. James Anak Jones

James Anak “Sonny” Jones, 86, of Plant City, Florida, born on July 29, 1931, joined his Heavenly Father on November 1, 2017. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He grew up in Plant City and was active in the community and in the schools. He worked in his family’s grocery store growing up. He attended Turkey Creek School where he graduated in 1949. He was a member of the well-known Boy Scouts Troop 5, President of the Spanish Club, member of the yearbook, Honor Society, Thespian Club, Class President, Improvement Club and voted Best All-Around in his class. He played the clarinet in the band where he met the love of his life, Betty. He received the D.A.R. Award for Citizenship. Wanting to continue with his career, Sonny attended Stetson University in 1950 and then later enrolled at Florida Southern College where he received his degree in 1953. In 1951, he married, Betty, and the two of them ran the family store and gas station with the help of his mother. He was a substitute teacher at Cork School and then went on to teach History & Civics at Turkey Creek School. Also, he taught Science and Library in Ruskin. He received his master’s degree from the University of Florida in 1961 after taking classes at University of Florida, Florida State and USF. He then became a full-time Counselor at Turkey Creek School, served as Dean of Boys at Horace Mann Junior High School and worked as Park Director at Simmons Park. In 1962, he signed on as Assistant Principal at Plant City High School. He was invited to attend Civitan Club and served in that civic minded organization up until his death. In 1967, he was assigned Principal of Tomlin Junior High School and later promoted to Principal of Plant City High School from 1980 until his retirement in 1990. He served on the High School Council of Principals, Chairman of the Western Conference of High School Principals, formed the East Hillsborough Historical Society, was active in the Turkey Creek Masonic Lodge, named Citizen of the Year in 1990, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Florida Southern College in 1991, volunteered at the Plant City Photo Archives, received the Heritage Award in 2010, active in Turkey Creek Baptist Church and served as Sunday School teacher, Deacon and Trustee and recently was honored to have the Plant City High School auditorium named after him. With all he did in his Church and community, he always found time to love on his family and friends. He has left a legacy behind. He will forever be remembered for his compassionate heart, his grand service to our community, and his love for Plant City and his family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jefferson & Fannie Jones; sisters Verna Smith, Esther Walker, Mildred Tice, Zelma Durrance, and granddaughter Kimberly Waters. He is survived by his wife of 66 years Betty Jo Jones; daughter, Jackie Waters (Darrell) ; sons, Jim (Carolyn) & Randy (Glenda) Jones; grandchildren, Larry (Sheila) Rypkema, Krista (Nathan) Heaivilin, Katie (Josh) Gibbons, Kevin (April) Waters, Brandy (Jeremy) Craddock, and Justin (Erin) Jones, as well as 16 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Monday, November 6 at 9:00am to 11:00am at Turkey Creek First Baptist Church, 4915 W. Trapnell Road Plant City, Florida. The service will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Turkey Creek First Baptist Church