Obituary: Stephen Jones

Stephen Clement Jones was born to James Russell and Ada Clement Jones on August 27, 1938 in Abington, PA. He is survived by his beloved wife of more than 34 years, Mitzi Taylor Jones; his sister Judith (Robert) Buhner, and brother Daniel Jones; his children Michael (Mary) Jones, Sarah (Jon) Widercrantz, Zachary (Sarah) Jones; and his step-children Tony, Brett, and Vanessa Budetti, Tristan Evans, and Amanda Jones VanNederynen, as well as many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

Stephen lived a varied life: some knew him as “professor” at Cornell University or TC3; some knew him as “handyman”.  After coming to know Jesus through much wrestling which can be read about in his semi-fictional autobiography A FAREWELL TO MYSELF, he became a member of Baptized Church of Jesus Christ in 1985.  He had the call to Pastor and began the Refuge Temple of Jesus Christ in 1992 where he and Mitzi had soup kitchen and church ministry in Ithaca. As families came in,  the name and teachings changed to Reformed Community Church of Ithaca in 2006, and, later to Christ Church Ithaca in 2012. He was much beloved by families and children!

He was a gifted teacher in all of these roles, his resonant voice and humor made it easy to follow his thoughts. Other roles we remember include musician, poet, wood sculptor, street evangelist, and comforter. As grandson Mark says, β€œHe was a great man! Guided me through a lot of challenges and showed everyone how to truly love as Christ loves us.” At Beechtree Nursing Home, where he spent his last years, he will be remembered by his many friends for his smiles, jokes, and the compliments he gave freely.