Michael Stephen Jones, 66, former president and CEO of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, died on February 5 from leukemia. Throughout his life, he worked to make his community better.
While heading the Chamber, he brought new members into the group and pushed for commercial investment in the Crenshaw area, a Leimert Park station on the Expo line and successful renovation of the Baldwin Hills Mall. A champion of small businesses, he coached developing entrepreneurs and provided training, often through his Success Management consulting company.
He also served as executive director of the Crenshaw YMCA and did fundraising for both the Crenshaw and Weingart branches.
A proud graduate of Dorsey Senior High School, he participated in the Motivated Men, an organization of alumni who mentored male students and provided support for the campus. After Dorsey, Michael attended Pacific University in Forest Grove Oregon, choosing to stay in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years.
Always willing to share his expertise, he was a member of several Toastmasters clubs, including Justice Masters. Michael earned DTM status, and worked not only in individual clubs, but served the district in several areas.
A man of faith, he served on the Board of Trustees of Holman United Methodist Church and was active throughout his decades-long membership. Prior to his return to Los Angeles in 1998, he served as interim minister of Berean Baptist Church in Portland. At Maranatha Church, also in Portland, he served as the church and school administrator, minister and building co-ordinator.
He is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart, Jacki Williams-Jones; his former wife, LaVeta Jones; children, Gabriel Jones (Katherine), LeAnn Jones Wiles (Kristian), Michael Emmanuel Jones (Sarah), Charisse Williams Laredo (Dave), and Oquendo Jones Kimbrough (Jennifer); 10 grandchildren, Samira Jones, Sidney Jones, Secari Jones, Stella Jones, Jade Wiles, Jalen Wiles, Jack Larado, Benjamin Larado, Nyomi Jones and Lennox Jones. He also leaves behind cousins and a host a of friends.
A celebration of life service will be held at Angelus Funeral Home on Friday, March 10, and due to limited capacity, it will be live-streamed.
For additional information, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelsjones. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the City of Hope: https://ourhope.cityofhope.org/give/286522/#!/donation/checkout.