Keeping Up With The Joneses
Although in their early eighties, Herman and Lillie Jones stay so busy they’re just a blur. In July (2012), on their 59th wedding anniversary, they will be leaving for another 11-day Samaritan’s Purse mission trip to Brazil (Herman’s eighth).
On some of these trips, they’ve gone door-to-door evangelizing. On others they have worked on construction or medical teams. They’ve also gone on mission trips within the U.S. and in Canada.
Their work for Samaritan’s Purse is exemplary. In 2011 the Joneses traveled around the state, picking up nearly 3,000 thousand shoeboxes filled with items for needy children around the world, and delivering them to the SP distribution center in Charlotte.
Back in the 1960s both became certified EMTs and worked on the Cliffside Rescue Crew. Lillie was one of the first woman ambulance drivers. Both worked in the mill, but parked the ambulance nearby, in case of an emergency, upon which they were allowed to leave their jobs and take the call. They would tear out, Lillie at the wheel and Herman attending to the person in need—a woman in labor, a man with a heart attack, a wreck victim.
When they’re home they make daily reports on station WCAB, Rutherfordton, of the goings on in the Cliffside area. They work on volunteer projects for local schools, churches, charitable groups—and helping their neighbors in any way they can.
Never ones to promote themselves or their work, they were a little dismayed to learn that their efforts have been widely recognized. WSPA-TV, Spartanburg, has named them April’s “Caring for the Carolinas” winners. Taped segments will air on the station on April 2 , at 5:30 p.m. and again on April 4. The Daily Courier published a story of the taping and the presentation of the award.
Each year on Remember Cliffside Day in October, you’ll find the Joneses doing their usual thing—making things better.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The Cliffside Chimes
An update: Lillie Jones passed away on June 16, 2014.