Ted Stanley Jones (affectionately known as “Big Blue”) was born in Holly Springs, MS on August 21, 1946. He was the fourth of eight children born to Levite and Everlee (Faulkner) Jones. Preceding him in death were his parents, his sister Marjean Watson and brother Dr. Hugh Edward Faulkner Jones.
At the age of eight years old, Ted’s family relocated to the former Quindaro Township region of Kansas City, KS. The family united in fellowship with The Historic Allen Chapel AME Church in Kansas City, KS, which is situated in Quindaro. Ted attended Vernon Elementary School through the 8th grade and he often reminded his children that he was a member of the first 9th grade graduating class of the newly built Coronado Junior High School in 1959-1960. Upon completing junior high school, Ted attended Washington High School where he graduated in 1965. Soon after completing his formal education in Kansas City, KS, he enlisted in the United States Army in November of the same year. After completing two years of military service in Fort Lewis, Washington, Ted was honorably discharged in November of 1967. Although he suffered a debilitating injury that left his right hand partially paralyzed while serving in the US Army, Ted returned to Kansas City, KS to reunite with his family and to begin life as a civilian.
Soon after returning home, Ted was employed with Westvaco Corporation where he served as a laborer. While visiting his sisters on the campus of the Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg (Pittsburg State University), he met the love of his life; Velma Jean Burns. Soon after their courtship began, Ted met and formed an immediate bond with his first son Brandon. On July 7, 1971, he entered into matrimony to Velma in Miami, OK and they soon settled in as a family in Kansas City, KS. To this union, four children were born (Ted L., Jarius, Karene and Jennifer).
In 1975, he was employed with the United States Post Office as a Mail Handler where he worked for 11 years. After a series of medical issues plagued his health, Ted retired from the Post Office in 1987.
Ted’s life did an about face when Brandon was healed of Sickle Cell Anemia after Bishop Daniel M. Jordan prayed for him. Brandon was saved in February of 1973 and Velma was delivered from smoking five packs of cigarettes a day and gave her life to the Lord in March of the same year. On May 6, 1973, Ted was delivered from drinking alcohol and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He united with the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Bishop Jordan and First Lady Mother Mary M. Jordan. In his secular lifestyle, he was known as “Shake and Bake.” This was because he would mix his whiskey with mustard, ketchup, and any other condiment on a table for those who could not afford to purchase their own; he nicknamed them “moochers.” If they could successfully digest his concoction, then he would buy them “the good stuff.” However, after his conversion he testified to countless individuals, “I am now Shaking and Baking for Jesus!”
Legacy of Faith
Ted immediately became involved in the Pentecostal COGIC Men’s Department where he developed a passion for witnessing to others throughout the community about Jesus Christ. He joined the Gospel Tract Society and began distributing tracts to everyone he knew and met; labeling them with the name and contact information of his church. Ted could be found on street corners - along with his fellow congregants - during tent revivals and outdoor church services, walking up to unfamiliar motorists and pedestrians handing out tracts and inviting strangers to fellowship in the services that were already in progress. Whenever a person pronounced a reluctance to receiving salvation because of their sinful lifestyle, Ted would respond with the following question, “How do you take your clothes to the cleaners? Clean or dirty?” This ushered them to the altar. His car was never too full to bring someone to church and he spoke with spiritual boldness of the goodness of God.
Throughout his nearly 46 years of serving the Lord, Ted could be seen returning to the streets and neighborhoods where he spent much of his time feeding the homeless and those less fortunate with a homemade warm meal. Because of his prior experience with alcoholism and its harmful effects, Ted focused much of his ministry on those who battled with alcohol and drug dependency.
Ted and Velma partnered with the National Toll-Free Marketing Corporation (NTFM) to help businesses acquire “1-800” numbers, in the early 1980s. Their larger than life personalities and business savvy brought them immediate success as they taught partners how to close a business transaction, instead of selling a product. The dynamic duo of Ted and Velma gained national acclaim and they were rewarded an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. After separating from NTFM in order to devote more time to their family, Ted and Velma continued their entrepreneurial path by establishing Jones Enterprises. For nearly three decades, Ted and Velma served as wholesale distributors of retail merchandise and they took pride in selling quality products at an affordable price.
In 1992, Ted acquired Kat-N-Fiddle Childcare Center. During the nine years of operation, he transported students to and from school as well as countless events and destinations. After his grandson Jamie began attending, all of the students emulated what he referred to his grandfather as, “Pa Pa.” Today, many of those children still refer to him as Pa Pa. Ted’s love for children was immeasurable and he found joy in providing “special treats” for every child. Oftentimes after retrieving students from school, Pa Pa would treat scholars to McDonald’s after asking them, “Who wants Mr. Moose to get you a Moose Burger?”
Evolution of Big Blue
Those that knew Ted, realized his devotion to the University of Kansas. He absolutely loved all things Jayhawks and his enthusiasm was infectious. His siblings, children, nieces and nephews enjoyed watching KU Basketball games with Ted as he would become quite the spectacle. Throughout any given game, he would go through every emotion one could imagine as he rooted the Jayhawks on to victory. Without fail, he would hum and sing the melody to the KU fight song - “I’m a Jayhawk” - to the delight of onlookers.
Although Ted was an alum of Washington High School, his allegiance was to the neighborhood school where his four youngest children graduated; F. L. Schlagle High School. Whether he was cheering at football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, track or wrestling competitions he brought school spirit by chanting “BLUE” while tossing out to the crowd candy and various snack items. Crowned with the nickname “Big Blue,” Ted would often be seen supporting athletes at freshman, junior varsity, and varsity practices and competitions. After becoming empty-nesters, he and Velma (who was referred to as “Mrs. Blue”) would support the Schlagle Stallion Marching Band by donating thousands of dollars towards out-of-town events. Big Blue and Mrs. Blue would show up an hour before band director Reginald May’s report time to wish the children and staff safe travels. Ted would tell Mr. May to not let any child go hungry.
Big Blue’s Farewell
Following Velma’s stroke in March 2004, Ted became her primary caregiver. As he had always done throughout his marriage, Ted served his sweetheart - who he affectionately called “Momma” - breakfast in bed daily. He ensured that she was well taken care of until his health deteriorated. In June of 2014, Ted was diagnosed with a rare form of Huntington’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease Like 2 (HDL2). Although the disease ravaged his body and robbed him of his independence, Ted never complained. On the morning of May 4, 2019, Ted achieved one last feat as he overcame the sting of death and reunited with his parents, siblings, friends and loved ones who went before him.
Ted awaits the Heavenly arrival of his wife of 47 years, Velma Jean Jones. He leaves to cherish his memory three sons, Dr. Brandon W. McCray of Kansas City, KS; Ted L. Jones of Grandview, MO and Dr. Jarius O. Jones (Kim) of Kansas City, KS; two daughters, Karene D. Salaam (Ron) of Oakland, CA and Jennifer J. Jones of Independence, MO; his three brothers, Herbert L. Jones of Kansas City, MO; Thomas A. Jones of Carson, CA and Jerry S. Jones (Sherry) of Kansas City, KS; two sisters, Attorney Marilee Jones-Cofield of Carson, CA and Elizabeth Swenson (Lloyd) of Aurora, CO; sisters-in-love, Vernell Jones and Barbara Jones Lansing, MI; District Missionary Lillian Wright and District Missionary Janet Bailey of Overland Park, KS; brothers-in-love, Deacon Tommy Griffin of Kansas City, MO and John Watson, Sr. of Kansas City, KS; one aunt, Lenora Johnson of Chicago, IL; five grandsons, Corey Washington; Elijah Ingram; Jamie L. Nix, II; Jarius O. Jones, II; Joseph P. McCray; seven granddaughters, Mija D. Jones; Olivia E. Jones; Alexandria K. Jones; Victoria J. Jones; Kimora Jones; Morgan R. Martin and Kelci Mitchem; one great-grandson, Jamie L. Nix, III; bonus daughters, Attorney Tonia Gilbert of Kansas City, MO; Nicole Dunlap (Brandon) of Blue Springs, MO and Sabrina Juancito of Atlanta, GA; bonus son, Melvin Ceasar of Houston, TX; goddaughters, Tisa Goolsby; Ashley McNack of Kansas City, MO and Cynthia Ware of Kansas City, KS; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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