Bennie Jones was a soft-spoken, warm, compassionate person who was generous to family, friends and strangers.
“He would give you the last that he had,” said Jones’ sister-in-law, Myrna Hackett.
Last year when a student didn’t have the proper shoes and attire for graduation, Jones didn’t hesitate to make sure the boy, whom he didn’t know, had the clothes he needed, Hackett said.
Hackett said Jones, 64, of Hammond, gave from his heart because he had so much love in it.
“He would just pour it out,” Hackett said.
Born in Pittsview, Alabama, Jones graduated from Glenville High School in 1966. He came to East Chicago in 1967, served four years in the U.S. Navy and began work at Youngstown Sheet and Tube, which became LTV Steel and then ArcelorMittal. Jones worked 36 years as a crane operator.
Jones’ hobbies included basketball, cooking, fishing and shopping. He enjoyed attending children’s basketball games, following them like he was a father, Hackett said.
“He loved cooking, making the best lemonade and ice cream,” Hackett said. “He had a forte in cooking, everything was made with love.”
Faith was important to Jones, who was a member of St. Mark AME Zion. He attended services faithfully and served as a steward and usher.
“You could always see Bennie Jones when you walked into St. Mark’s,” Hackett said. “Bennie would be ushering you in.”
Family and friends will miss Jones’ warm spirit and his compassionate smile, Hackett said.
“He would light up a room,” she said. “Family and friends could always depend on Bennie to be a blessing in whatever capacity that he could be for them.”
“When I look back and sum up his whole life, he would give you a helping hand,” Hackett said. “That is the special part about Bennie. When you can give of yourself, it comes from God.”