Joseph Wayne “Jodie” Jones, Jr., 51, of Fairhope, Alabama, passed away on Monday, April 3, 2023.
“Jodie” or “Coach Jones” was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and lived in Greenville, Alabama. He graduated from Fort Dale Academy in 1990 and from Troy University in 1993. Jodie was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and graduated from Troy with honors. Jodie continued at Troy, earning his first master’s degree in 1994 in Secondary Education – History while teaching and coaching at his alma mater. His 30-year-career took him to various posts around the state, Excel, Monroeville, Tuscaloosa, and Bay Minette. Jodie taught and coached football along with numerous other sports, including basketball, soccer, and golf. Upon earning a second master’s degree from Jacksonville State University in Special Education, Jodie worked with middle school students In Perdido, Alabama, until his final move to Fairhope, Alabama in 2017. He loved his years at Fairhope East Elementary serving as a resource teacher and bus driver. Coach Jones dedicated his entire career to his students and players, touching countless lives along the way.
Jodie proudly served as a military police officer during his two-year service in the Army National Guard. This dedication to service and precise timekeeping carried over into everything he did. Routine, order, honor, and faith did not prevent him from having a keen sense of humor. His quick wit, funny memes, and silly jokes made him beloved by all who truly knew him. He loved Auburn football on Saturday and the Green Bay Packers any day. Fantasy football teams, Jeopardy, and Planet Fitness were some of his favorite pastimes. He and his wife, Anne, loved long walks, grilling out, and old episodes of West Wing. His was a life of simple pleasures that will be treasured forever.
Jodie’s proudest accomplishment is embodied in his two boys, Matthew Cooper Jones and Jacob Tanner Jones. Cooper currently serves at Duke Airfield as a Senior Airman, and Tanner is Airman First Class in the Air National Guard while attending Troy University as a Junior. He instilled the same dedication to honor in them that he possessed.
Jodie was preceded in death by his mother, Anne Ruth Gardner Philpot; paternal grandparents, Leo and Katherine Jones; and maternal grandparents, Woodrow Winston Gardner, Sr. and Anne Fleming Stowers.
Jodie is survived by his best friend, loving partner, and forever wife, Anne Koebler Jones; his sons, Cooper Jones of Fort Walton, FL, and Tanner Jones of Troy, AL; stepsons, Alex Lazzari of Fairhope, AL, and Zach (Peyton) Lazzari of Atlanta, GA. He was the beloved “BGE” (Best Grandpa/Grumpy Ever) to his grandson, Jude Thomas Lazzari (2) of Atlanta, GA. He also leaves his father, Joseph Wayne Jones, Sr. and stepmother, Teena Jones; siblings, Justin (Maegan) Jones; Kana (Andrew) Pair; and Rachel Branum, along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 15, 2023, at 10:00 AM at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 370 South Section Street in Fairhope. Visitation with the family will begin at 9:00 AM in the St. Lawrence Room.
In lieu of flowers, Jodie requested donations be made to any of the following organizations: The American Cancer Society www.pancan.org ; Pilots for Christ of Monroeville, AL at https://www.pilotsforchrist.net/support_pfc/; the Caring Bridge at www.CaringBridge.org; or St. Jude Children’s Hospital at https://www.stjude.org/donate/pm
Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at www.hughesfh.com. Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.
I enjoyed having to share a classroom with Jodie at Baldwin County High School! He was like a younger brother to me. We shared a few things in common, other than Teaching, we were both Military, Coaches and had a Love for Auburn Sports!!! I remember when Jodie turned to Catholicism and went through his Confirmation. I gifted him a necklace with a couple of medals, St. Michael and St. Anthony. We talked about our common faith and how it helped us make it through some tough times.
He had the best sense of humor, a practical joker to say the least. Whenever we saw each other, if it was months or year later, it was as though no time had passed. I will miss you my friend and seeing your smiling face and funny memes on Facebook. Prayers for you and all your loved ones!
Coach Jones was a familiar face when we were coaching together in Tuscaloosa and Baldwin County. I’ll always appreciate the opportunities he gave me and vouching over the years. You always look back after you lose contact with people over time and reminisce. Jodie will never be forgotten and I’ll never forget the care he showed me when I was just getting started.