Donnell W. (Whiteley) Jones, 72, of Charlevoix, passed away on Sunday May 24, 2020 at her home surrounded by family. She was born on January 16 ,1948 in Charleston, SC, the daughter of Donald L. Sr. and Vivian M. (Carter) Whiteley.
Donnell was raised in Charleston, and it was also there that she met a young Coast Guardsman named Lonnie C. Jones Jr.. According to him, he knew from the moment he saw her that they would one day wed…and six months later, on March 5, 1967 they did just that. The next several years brought them children, and many moves along the way that often accompany being part of a military family – Panama City Beach, Miami, Germany, and Maine to name a few. Donnell never batted an eye at the difficulties that came along with these new assignments; in fact, she did the opposite. When she became aware of a move, she would research the area, and show their children on a map where they were headed next, as well as all of the fun activities that awaited them there. Being the wife of a Career Coast Guardsman was just as difficult of a job as it was to be out at sea for an innumerable number of days, and she answered the call every single time. Their last assignment brought them to Charlevoix in 1982 and they have called it home ever since. She has been involved in many activities here in Charlevoix, and for the past 26 years, she has been a well respected member of the team of insurance agents at Bingham Insurance.
The most important part of Donnell’s life was her family. She loved her children and grandchildren beyond measure. She and Lonnie would spend one week each year with all of their grandchildren (no parents allowed). This meant every bit of spoiling that could be squeezed into seven days. She was famous for her platters piled high with cookies at Christmas time, her beautiful smile, and her generous, kind spirit. Donnell enjoyed going to garage sales, and crocheting; But most importantly, she loved doing anything and everything for and with her family. She was adored by all who knew her.
Donnell is survived by her husband of 53 years, Lonnie C. Jones Jr. USCG CWO3 Retired; three children, Natalie R. (Patrick K.) Riley, Nathan C. Jones, and Megan E. Jones; a brother, Donald L. Jr. (Lorraine B.) Whiteley; two sisters, Barbara (Whiteley) Short, and Kathy Jo (Whiteley) Mushlit; and six grandchildren, Hannah E. (Kalyn B.) Devine, Rebekah C. Riley, Joshua A. Riley, Anastasia M. Jones, Isaac C. Schmidt, and Silja R. Schmidt.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald L. Sr. and Vivian M. Whiteley; and a sister, Crystal D. (Whiteley) Milner.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sarah M. Foster, MD Chemotherapy and Infusion Center, 14700 Lake Shore Dr, Charlevoix, MI 49720, or Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, 1005 N. Glebe Road, Suite 220, Arlington, VA 22201.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are in the care of the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com
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