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Donald P. Jones, Jr. was born May 15, 1949 in North Topeka, KS to Donald P. Jones, Sr. and Beatrice V. Jones. In 1976, he married Ellen Presley Jones, living as a faithful and loving husband for nearly 50 years (47, as of August 7th). Together they welcomed two children Stacey M. Jones Lee (Korey) and Donald P. Jones, III. He was known as Paul to his family, and Don or Donald to others. And was educated at Grant Elementary, Curtis Junior High, and Topeka High School. He matriculated on to Kansas University and ultimately earned his Professional Licensure in Architecture. Paul broke barriers in his profession, working as a draftsman for Van Doren- Hazard-Stallings, Architects-Engineers-Planners in Topeka. Today, his genius and creative mind still stands in projects throughout the Topeka and Kansas City Metro areas. In 1986, Paul expanded his territory again and was named the inaugural City Architect for the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas. For 32 years Paul served the community of KCK through his ministry of work. He earned the role Director of Buildings and Logistics where he supported the development of countless professionals, envisioned new programs, and cared for the city and its people as he did for his own family. As a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and lead of his own firm, DPJ & Associates, his love and natural gift of vision and design made our physical world more beautiful and functional.
Paul traveled his life’s journey with God leading. He was a lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was an active member of his home church, St. Mark’s A.M.E. in Topeka, KS. He joined the Historic Allen Chapel A.M.E. Quindaro upon relocation to Kansas City. As a true embodiment of servant leadership, he worked in the church without ceasing. Paul taught Sunday School, served as a Trustee, Steward, chartered the Men’s Chorus, and served the Lay Organization as an officer on both the local and Conference levels; As Executive Board President, he presided over the Midwest Conference and the former Kansas-Nebraska Conference. He earned the designation of Life Member from the 5th District A.M.E. Lay Organization and served as a delegate to the General Conference during several Quadrennial sessions. With the support of Bishop Kirkland he also served as a member of the General Board. Doing things the right way mattered to Paul. In all of his service he was consistent, clear, transparent and spoke truth to power in every setting and at all times. Especially when it was for the benefit and keeping of the Church of Richard Allen. Paul continued God’s work through service to the local community. He was a long-standing and founding member of the Unified Government Black History Planning Committee. As a Board member, his service included Friends of the Kansas City Public Library, The Quindaro Ruins Foundation, and the Western University Association.
As a young man, Paul played baseball and football. While he loved competition even more than athletics, he had many wonderful years of watching his children compete through the collegiate level. As a devoted dad and supporter, he seldom missed a game for either of his children. From basketball, volleyball, and football games at Sumner Academy, journeying through track meets at Bowdoin College or historical HBCU rivalries for Alabama State, if he was able then he was there. The stands will forever ring out with his commanding voice of celebration, disapproval, instruction, and his most famous family creed: “Say you WILL!”. He cherished his role as a general manager in college and professional sports as well. Often breaking away from all responsibility to serve as “Sideline Coach” for the Kansas Jayhawks on the hardwood and the Oakland Raiders on the field. His love of sport was expressed as a young man through hunting and fishing along the banks of the Kansas River in North Topeka. He was a lifelong student with a curious mind for engineering. There is literally nothing he could not fix with strength, duct tape, the most simple set of tools, and his love and attention.
Paul survived his parents and 3 siblings, Toiann Jones, Donna Paulette Jones, and Marlon Jones Sr. He is survived by his younger sister Eloise B. Jones in addition to his wife Ellen P. Jones and children Stacey Lee (Korey), Donald P. Jones, III and two grandchildren, Kaleb Lawrence Donald Lee and Kason Ivey Walter Lee. While Paul had four siblings, he counted and loved his (other) siblings in law; Yolanda Dawn Presley Notyce (deceased), Willean Presley and Lawrence Presley. In the same fashion he loved his nieces and nephews as his own: Tiffani A. Jones, Brandon A. Stevenson, Marlon B. Jones, Jr. (Scherrie), Marqita R. Jones, Carlia E. Notyce, Marcus Howell, Edwin Howell, Myke Presley, and a host of others. While many families operate on a nuclear level, it was Paul’s spirit and reverence for family dissolved divisions of generation, and distance. The Amos and Avery Family, which celebrates the lineage of his Mother, Beatrice V. Jones was an annual highlight in his life. Labor Day weekend Paul would be between MI, KS, OK or TX laughing, teasing and basking in the presence of family. Memorial Day for many is a time for cookouts. And while Paul also did the grilling…the morning always began with trips to the cemetery where the family gathered to lock arms, pray and sing among our forebearers with his booming and joyful voice ringing through.
Starting with his educational career at Grant Elementary, Paul never missed a single day through the completion of High School. Likewise in his professional life, upon retirement he was paid out for two years of accrued vacation time. Donald Paul Jones, Jr. knew how to show up. Every part of him was present in every thing he did at every moment of every day. In standing as a rock through family tragedy and cheering as the loudest exhorter in celebration, Paul knew no limits to showing up. While standing on the promises of God, we are thankful and confident that his being will live on. His love and teachings will continue to show up in all of our lives through the lessons taught and seeds sown.
In the words of his nephew Myke: A joyous and thunderous laugh with a smile as bright as the morning sun. A mountain of a man with a heart of gold. A genius mind with a beautiful soul. A leader of his family and a child of God. A wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle and son. He led a devoted life to God and family and now the job is done. Well done. - Amen