Mary Alice Jones was a pillar of the Painter community in south DeKalb County. God called her home to Heaven on March 4 at the age of 89.

When I learned of her death, I imagined our Lord and Savior saying to her, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Mary Alice Wilkes Jones lived Matthew 25:21. She was a Godly example of what a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend and church member should be. Her outer beauty — a gene inherited by the women in her family tree — was surpassed by her inner beauty that reflected a heart of love, joy, goodness, kindness and thankfulness.

Last fall, June Harris, one of Mary Alice’s daughters, messaged me on Facebook.

“Mother has talked about your mother at least twice recently,” June wrote. “She said she was a good friend and one of the best women ever. She said she was so sweet just like her mother. She also said that Edwin was a really nice man.”

My mom, Shelba Allen, and Mary Alice were childhood friends whose bond of friendship endured through the decades of their lives.

I never talked to Mary Alice when she didn’t make me feel better about myself. Those are the kind of friends we love best.

Several family members shared wonderful tributes to Mary Alice on their Facebook pages. Her granddaughter, Brooke Walker, shared some of Mary Alice’s last words, which another granddaughter, Kassadi Cotton, wrote down to preserve for the family.

“I love everybody.”

“Thanks for all of your friendships.”

“I can’t talk with everybody and I miss that.”

“Every friendship I’ve had ... I’m thankful.”

“Think of me when you pray and I love you.

“I love everybody. I can’t tell them enough.”

Beautiful words from a beautiful lady that she left behind to remind her family and everyone who knew her of what’s most important in life.

It hurts to see the women of Mary Alice’s generation all passing away. It makes me yearn for “That Glad Reunion Day” even more.


Shannon J. Allen is publisher for The Reporter. He can be reached at

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