Mary Denese Jones, born August 23, 1957 in Forest, MS to John Atley and Johnnie Mae Herron Sawyer, grew up in the Forest and Homewood communities. She attended Forest Municipal Schools for 11 years and graduated with honors from South Leake High School. On August 16, 1974 she married Wesley A. Jones from Walnut Grove.
Denese worked at various jobs until July 1989 when she began working at The Scott County Times. After a long career with the newspaper she pursued a different career choice when she began working as a purchasing clerk for the City of Forest.
Growing up in a Christian home, Denese accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior when she was nine years old. She joined New Zion Baptist Church on Blossom Hill Road in Morton. After marriage, Denese moved her membership to Mt. Zion Baptist Church near Walnut Grove.
Denese loved her family and enjoyed researching her ancestry. She was a sincere, compassionate, and loving person. Denese was meticulous in everything she did and pursued perfection at her work. She was a beloved wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.
She was preceded in death by her father. Survivors include: her husband of 45 years, Wesley A. Jones of Walnut Grove; mother, Johnnie Mae Sawyer Jones of Homewood; two sisters, Lanay Russum (Ricky) of Polkville and Tonda Rayborn of Raleigh; a brother, Bill Sawyer (Shelia) of Homewood; several nieces and nephews.
Services were at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 1, 2020 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church with Bro. George Ellis and Bro. Paul Jordan officiating.
Interment followed in the Mt. Zion Cemetery. Wilcox Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers were: Kermit Carpenter, Billy Joe Lott, Daniel Russum, Sydney Sawyer, Dennis Paul Adams, and Jonathan Sawyer.
Honorary pallbearers were: Mayor Nancy Chambers and the City of Forest Employees, Tyler Devers, Tyler Sawyer, and Shane Rayborn.