Dorothy Rice Jones was the first born and only daughter to Sarah Pierce Rice and Walter Rice in Philadelphia PA. She attended the public schools of Philadelphia, where she excelled throughout her matriculation until her graduation from Overbrook High School during World War II. She accepted Christ at 12 years old and was baptized in her family church, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia PA. While always certain that she would attend college, she contributed to the war effort by applying for and receiving a job as a parachute inspector for two years. After two years, she left to attend West Virginia State College after hearing about it from her co-worker. Her determination to make up the time she had lost to classmates that had begun college immediately after high school led to her completing her studies in just 2 ½ and taught as a substitute teacher in Philadelphia Public Schools until she accepted an offer to do case work for the Philadelphia Department of Public Welfare. She met her future husband, E. Theodore Jones, on the subway platform as they returned from taking the national teacher’s exam. At the time, he was an ordained minister completing a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania. They moved to Richmond VA where all three of their children were born: Cheryl L. Jones-Dix, Theodore B. Jones, and Eric T. Jones. In Richmond, Dorothy was warmly received as First Lady of Riverview Baptist Church and sang in the choir. She was employed as a registered social worker with the Bureau of Social Work in Richmond VA. While there, she was the first African American to be selected as ‘Christmas Mother’ for the children of Richmond VA, arranging for transportation from their schools to the Booker T. Washington School where she had arranged for gifts to be distributed to the children of families adopted by local businesses.
The family relocated to Philadelphia and they joined Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown, PA. Dorothy became first an elementary school teacher in the Philadelphia Public Schools at Logan Elementary School for 4 years before becoming an Administrative Assistant for 25 years. Her time was spent at Logan Elementary School and Overbrook Educational Center (visually impaired students). Many lives were touched by her principled leadership and compassionate mentoring. During these years, she pursued and received a Masters + 30 hour in Educational Administration with certification as a principal to enhance her effectiveness as an education administrator.
Charitable work included work with the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Lincoln Day Nursery, and the Women’s Medical Hospital. In 1983, she felt a need for a more organized effort to assist those who are poor and destitute. She organized and was the founder of Club Karma, a group of like-minded women that created and contributed to monthly projects to help those in need. She was also President of the Scholarship Committee at Salem Baptist Church for many years before becoming a member of Second Baptist Church of Germantown where she also worked on scholarships. Her volunteer work continued after retirement and included tutor teaching at Emlen School. She also volunteered at Women’s Medical Hospital where she assisted with holding premature babies. She also organized the Literary Visitation Guild at Second Baptist Church: members visited elderly and read to them. She as a member of Jack and Jill, Inc. She was a Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and was selected as a legend member of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter during their 80th Anniversary Celebration. While her husband was alive, she was active as an Archousa in the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity with travel to many meetings together and service on their Archousae Boulé Board. Throughout her life, she enjoyed playing bridge and travelled often with her husband, in particular to the Caribbean. During her retirement days, she began painting and sought lessons to improve her artistry, creating several keepsakes for the family.
She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Sarah and Walter Rice, and brothers Walter Rice, Jr. and Frank Rice. She leaves to celebrate her life: children Cheryl Jones-Dix (John Dix), Theodore Jones, MD (Pamela Jones, Ph.D.), and Eric Jones, Ph.D. (Wesley Thomas, DDS); two grandchildren: Denise and Theodore Jones; very close cousin Evelyn Page; sister-in-law Juanita Moore; godson Charles Norris, MD, and a host of cousins, family and friends.
Submitted With Love,
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