Obituaries

Jeffrey “JJ” L. Jones

Jeffrey “JJ” L. Jones, 58, of Newport News, VA, passed away on March 12, 2024.

Jeffrey, fondly known as Jeff or JJ, was born to Robert “Bobby” and Henrietta on February 19, 1966, in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. He spent his childhood days in Meade County, Kentucky, before moving to Hampton, Virginia, where he graduated as a Class of 1984 Kecoughtan High School Warrior.

Jeff is survived by his son Jacob L. Jones, daughter Sarah Smith (Ian), and grandsons Jason and Brayden. He is also survived by his father and stepmother, Robert “Bobby” and Rita Jones; sister, Tammy Williams, and her children Aaron, Frances, and Matthew; brother, Mitchell Jones (Mary Beth)and his children Dylan and Russell; and sister, Wendie Mewszel (Brent) and her children, Dalton and Dakota. Jeff is also survived by his companion, Ellen Swank, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Jeff was preceded in death by his mother and stepfather, Henrietta and Jerome Bruhn; his grandparents; and his best friend and uncle, Mitchell Jones.

In 1988, Jeff’s electrical career took off with David R. Hall, Inc., where he earned his Journeyman’s Electrician License and was a mentor to many. In 2004, he moved to his latest employer, Newport News Public Schools, Plant Services.

Beginning in childhood, Jeff had a love for sports. This love led to spending countless hours on the Deer Park Little League ballfields with his son Jake. He also had a love for college basketball, especially the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Jeff’s true passion throughout his life was music, from his early days dancing at Mammy and Papaw Jones to introducing and sharing his love of concerts with his daughter Sarah. Jeff loved any show, whether it was a 3-day music festival or local artists playing in and around Hampton Roads. He could never get enough, which inspired him to create his own band, Wildcard.

Jeff never met a stranger; anyone he met became a friend. He leaves a hole in many people’s lives, but he will forever live on in all our favorite songs and fondest memories.

 A celebration of life will take place at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, at the Newport News Moose Lodge (2307 60th St, Hampton, VA 23661). In honor of Jeff, please wear your favorite U of K shirt, band tee, or tie-dye.

The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to Soundscapes, an organization that empowers children through music. You can do so through their website – https://www.soundscapes.org/donate/

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home.

15 Comments

  1. Pamela Ballard

    Heartfelt condolences to Jones’ family and all of Jeff’s countless friends. Family is sometimes who you choose, and they will always be “family” to me. This still feels like a dream you just cannot wake up from. Jeff’s legacy will be his ability to bring people together through music. I have no doubt these friendships will remain intact and continue to serve as a testimony for his love of people and music. I am forever blessed and thankful to have been part of his musical journey through the years and will pray for God’s healing for
    his family, band mates and friends. Rest easy Jeff…you will be forever missed.

  2. Pamela Daniels

    Heartfelt condolences to Jones’ family and all of Jeff’s countless friends. Family is sometimes who you choose, and they will always be “family” to me. This still feels like a dream you just cannot wake up from. Jeff’s legacy will be his ability to bring people together through music. I have no doubt these friendships will remain intact and continue to serve as a testimony for his love of people and music. I am forever blessed and thankful to have been part of his musical journey through the years and will pray for God’s healing for
    his family, band mates and friends. Rest easy Jeff…you will be forever missed.

  3. John and Rhonda Sanders

    Our deepest condolences to Jeff and his entire family. We are praying for the family’s strength during these difficult times.

  4. Denise Sisak

    I will remember Jeff with fondness, and his love of music, and love and devotion he had for his children. Although it’s been many years, I will never forget the concerts and the good times during each visit. Thanks for the memories. I still have that Hootie and the Blowfish CD! My prayers and thoughts are with the entire family!

  5. Andy Stavropoulos

    Back in the late 70’s when we used to drive from California to visit the family we couldn’t wait to play baseball and Jeff would always say let’s go upstairs and jam he had the coolest Kiss and Rush posters all over the room. He was one of the best cousins ever. I will miss him so dearly.

  6. Lee Boyd

    When ever I was around Jeff, I would immediately forget any problems because the laughter and the music would soon begin! And the joy he expressed for his family all the time was infectious, I was proud to call him friend! He will be sorely missed!

  7. Kent Hicks

    My heartfelt condolences go out the Jake,Sarah,Ellen, and the rest of the family. I had the privilege of working with Jeff at Newport News Public Schools. Jeff was always full of life and had nothing but smiles for everyone he met. He touched the life’s of many during the time I knew him. It was my pleasure to be able to call him friend and to be able to share the time we got to spend together. He will be missed by many.

  8. rob oudit

    i have known Jeff for over 20 yrs and had the privilege of working with him and also playing drums for one of his bands ,i will miss him and his great personality —what a good friend

  9. Donna Worth

    I never got the honor of meeting Jeff, but I know he was the Love of Ellen’s life and I am truly sorry for his passing.
    Thoughts and Prayers
    Donna Worth

  10. Tim&Ramonda

    Our heart are broken over this sudden loss of one of our favorite musicians that we always enjoyed. We will forever remember you and will always speak nothing but kind words as you were one of the most outgoing person we knew. We thank you for all the fun nights of entertainment from you and your band “wildcard”. Tim and I will always miss you. To his loved ones we sent our prayers and condolences your way, and love from the Harley’s hideaway family.

  11. Walt Strode

    During the time I knew Jeff, he was always full of energy, singing and dancing. From myself and all of Crossing James band, we send heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family, Ellen, his Wildcard family and all of his many friends. His legacy will always be remembered through music. Rest in peace my friend.

  12. Rick Hancock

    My thoughts are with JJ’s family. We worked together at NNPS and spent a long day on a job at one of the High School Auditoriums. Whie working we listened to 4 Jackson Browne albums.JJ introduced me to The Tedeschi Trucks Band and I shared my love of Joanne Taylor Shaw music.Great guy and a wonderful musician. Rest easy.

    “Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels.
    Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields.”

    Running On Empty
    Jackson Browne, 1977

  13. Michelle Zuskin

    I’m so terribly sorry for his family and friends. I worked with Sarah years ago and I know she loved her Daddy so much! God bless you all through the hard days ahead and always remember the good times! He will be with you all always! 🙏

  14. Ric Rosenberger

    What an awesome guy! I loved running into JJ and Ellen at shows. Always made it just a little bit better getting to hang out with the two of them. Rest easy, Brother!!!

  15. Angela Woodward

    Our Deepest condolences to the family, friends, and Ellen during this sudden Loss. Prayers and hugs to all of you. Prayers of Peace and strength and prayers for “JJ” resting in peace with music all around him.

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