Fred Earl Jones was born on July 8, 1940 in Hernando, Mississippi to Joe Lee and Mary Jones, the 10th out of 13 children.Through sacrifices from his parents and older sibling, he was able to pursue his degree at Jackson State University (JSU), a historically black college located in Jackson, Mississippi.
He majored in music and marched proudly with the JSU’s “Sonic Boom of the South” Band.While in college, he received the nickname “Herk.In the Spring of 1964, he also became a member of the Upsilon Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.Respectfully, in 1965, he became the first in his family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.In later years, he did expand his education to include a Masters of Music from the University of Mississippi.
After leaving Jackson State, he married his childhood friend, Martha Ann Dennis.He began his teaching career in Marshall County, Mississippi at Sand Flat High as School Band Director.There he built a loving Christian home for his wife (Martha) and two daughters (Lisa Michelle -1968 and Calandra Rochelle – 1974). His home was in walking distance from the school where he dedicated and shared his passion for music.
At Sand Flat (later renamed H.W. Byers), he served as an educator for 23 years. He developed a strong band with true musicianship, taught mathematics, serve as a father/male role model, and most of all built student’s self-esteem through disciple and dedication.As a result, he impacted the lives of the people within the school and the community.
Sadly, on July 3, 1988, he was killed in a senseless car accident.Fred Earl Jones is remembered for his great attitude, loving heart, strong presence, and his gift of music.
His Motto: All you have to do is try; you shall succeed.