Judy Jones was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 6, 1928, the daughter of Olin Steele Bohanan, Sr. and Edna Lee Knight. At an early age, she moved with her parents and brothers, Olin Jr. and Darrell, to Stewart community. There she attended Heard-Mixon School, excelling in her studies. She was the valedictorian of the class of 1946.
Judy married Lee Felton Jones after his return from Europe following the war. Their wedding was on January 23, 1949 and they honeymooned at Rock City. Prior to the birth of their first child, Judy and Felton spent a great deal of time with friends. One of their favorite projects was building a cabin on Jackson Lake. They collected and cleaned used bricks for the foundation and with the assistance of several friends, built the entire structure themselves.
Judy and Felton resided in a small house in Covington while they began their family. She worked for Southern Bell and he worked in delivery and service for Major Appliance. After their first child, Kim, was born, they realized that a larger home would be necessary and they built a brick home in a pecan grove on Newton Drive. Shortly thereafter, Judy’s mother and father built their home next door. With the birth of the second child, Greg, Judy discontinued her work at Southern Bell to stay at home with the children. She read them books, taught them songs on the piano and encouraged regular participation in activities with their many cousins and other neighborhood children.
The original brick structure on Newton Drive sufficed until the birth of the youngest child, Jeff, at which time Judy and Felton added onto the house and built a brick fence around the back yard. In 1963, Pal, a short-haired fox terrier came to reside in the back yard with the clothesline, the swingset and the horseshoe stakes. Judy painted a shuffleboard court on the driveway in the late 60s, inspired by the annual family summer vacation at Callaway Gardens. The family lived on Newton Drive until the late 1970s, when Judy and Felton purchased a home in Deerfield.
Judy spent the majority of her time as a homemaker while the children were young. She was active in many roles in the First Baptist Church of Covington and was a great encouragement to her children, who were also involved in the church. She served as the secretary of the Junior Sunday School department as each of the children passed through, traveled with the youth choirs and prepared meals for the Sunday night youth suppers. Judy supported her children through her involvement in their educational environment as a volunteer in multiple positions. She was involved in the Parent/Teacher Association, Band Boosters and other supportive organizations.
Judy became an exceptional seamstress, learning the skill from her maternal grandmother, Ethie Dingler, as a young adult. She made dresses, shirts and costumes. Her daughter could choose material and a pattern and would soon have a complete outfit. Kim learned to do the same from watching her mother. Greg and Jeff had few shirts in their early school days that were not made by their mother.
Later, when the children were older, Judy became a successful real estate agent and broker with Key Realty. She was known throughout the county as an honest and respected agent. As a result of her daily involvement in real estate and her depth of knowledge of the business, she began to do home financing, benefiting many persons from the community and also many family members. She continued this activity throughout the remainder of her life. Judy had many other interests including several years of involvement in the Hospital Auxiliary, a bowling league, community theater and she was a census taker in 1970. During these years, Judy would often take the children to the Elks Club for bingo and Felton and Judy enjoyed regular weekend outings to "The Club" for dancing. They were known for their smooth dancing style; others often stopped to watch.
In the past two decades, Judy and Felton enjoyed traveling throughout the Southeast to lakes and parks in their "pick-up camper" and spending time at their cabin on Jackson Lake. One of Judy’s favorite things was to go fishing off the dock early in the morning before breakfast. She continued this over the years and after the grandchildren started coming, she taught most of them to fish. Judy and Felton traveled regularly, far and wide, to attend functions and to take part in many activities in support of their children and their many grandchildren. They also traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe. They continued to enjoy dancing whenever the opportunity arose.
When Felton became ill and increasingly debilitated, Judy provided his care in their home until he passed away on July 5, 2004. Since that time, Judy survived breast cancer and a severe bout with shingles that left permanent difficulties. Subsequently, she spent more time at home, playing Scrabble, Freecell and other games, making ties and sewing clothes for her children and grandchildren, always maintaining her financing business and her contact with her previous business associates while sharing copious printed quotes, comics and philosophical statements with family members and others until declining health led to several brief hospitalizations. She passed away late on May 17, secondary to general decline and acute pneumonia. Judy will be missed; she was a wonderful mother and a remarkable businesswoman. She would have been appalled that this brief biography ended up in the newspaper.