Michael Lawrence Jones

December 29, 1944 - June 18, 2017
Michael Lawrence Jones

Michael Lawrence Jones, age 72, of Wilmington, passed away on Sunday, June 18, 2017, at his home.

He was born on December 29, 1944 in Durham, NC the son of Robert Monroe Jones, Jr. and Pauline Lawrence Jones.

Michael worked for many years as a plumber.

He served his country with honor and distinction in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

No services are planned at this time.

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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.

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  • June 24, 2017
    John Wallace lit a candle:
    Lit since June 24, 2017 at 6:19:55 AM

  • June 24, 2017
    Marion Ross GOdfrey says:
    Betsy and Barbara, You were such loving sisters to Mike for so many years. I know you will miss him very much. We hope though that some of the good memories of fun times together will help to ease your pain and grief. Much love, Marion and Jim

  • June 25, 2017
    Larry Gortman says:
    We were so sorry to hear of Mike's passing. I spoke to him on the phone about two weeks ago. He has been a very good friend to me for many years. We worked together at Fort Fisher Recreation area.

  • June 30, 2017
    Sherri Neal, Allen, Theresa and Frankie Page says:
    Betsy and Barbara, we are so sorry for the loss of Mike, we know he will be missed and he was loved. We miss him so much. We were his neighbors and FRANKIE WAS MORE OF A SON TO HIM THAN HIS OWN CHILD. We called each other daily and we went to see him everyday. He is missed so much. We have all cried. But, I think it hit Frankie the hardest, he was like his second dad, and he loved him so!! Blessed and he will never be forgotten!!!!!!

  • July 03, 2017
    Betsy Jones Beals, Mike's Sister says:
    Michael Lawrence Jones, my big brother was my best friend growing up in Durham. He and I rode our bikes, roller-skated at 1st Baptist parking lot , played basketball with all the neighborhood boys, played at the Trinity Street YMCA, Duke Park or Forest Hills Clubhouse . Mike was active in baseball and anything that was at Duke University. Above all of this, our family spent time with other family members at the Lawrence farm in Brickhaven and at our paternal grandparent’s home at Carolina Beach. Each summer we all loved being with our grandparents learning how to fish, clam, crab and using seine nets to catch our fresh bait and food. We also learned how to lifeguard and how to make money helping boat captains or shop owners. Our family grew up in downtown Durham where our Dad was Captain in charge of #2 Fire Station. Mom was a stay at home Mom, PTA president, active in community events. Because of Urban renewal we moved to North Durham. Both parents supported each of us as our talents were discovered. Mike had a gift for drawing and won county and state fair ribbons for his pictures Mike loved baseball and played as #9 in Optimist, American Legion and lettered on Durham High School baseball team. Michael was a pitcher and played right field and during high school served as Durham Bulls bat boy for several summers before he began playing semi-pro baseball mostly in Catsburg. Mike was also active in Post 7 Boy Scout Troop and was Senior Patrol leader and earned his Eagle Rank at age 15 with Mom, Dad, Barbara and I proudly standing by. Mike was also active in Choir and youth activities at Congregational Christian on Main Street and enjoyed helping Dad build boats, decks and framing pictures. Mike’s love of golf was developed at Hillandale Golf with his telephone, hunting and fishing buddies. After high school, Mike joined the work force and became a forecast engineer for GT Telephone Company but was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War in late 1964. In six months time, Mike was in basic training and sent to Vietnam as a helicopter specialist at Da Nang Vietnam. Our family and others worried about Mike’s safety in a war that few were willing to support. In February 1967, Mike was able to visit on emergency leave, our Father who was dying of leukemia at Watts Hospital. Dad died a week later and Mike was allowed to serve the rest of his draft time in NC.and was honorably discharged. Mike married shortly after Dad’s death and a daughter was born, then later a son. Mike returned back to the phone company then worked at Public Service Gas Company and later became a Service Manager for Uzzle Motors Co. Mike battled the memories of the Vietnam war and Dad’s death, but found solace in continuing to hunt, fish, and go back to Carolina Beach and the farm. His greatest and happiest days was being with his fishing buddies trying to catch the biggest fish and then bragging about it for weeks. Mike’s last thirty years have been spent in Kure, Ft Fisher Carolina Beach and Wilmington NC, fishing hunting and developing new and younger fishing friends. His joy was teaching a younger fisherman his lifelong acquired fishing techniques and his love for tinkering with new rods and reels. In the early years, Mike would never reveal his favorite fishing spots, but when he bought a boat, he began to share those special fishing holes with trusted fishing buddies. During these years he was a plumber on Bald Head Island leaving early in a.m. and returning to Kure Beach by 2-3:00 in afternoon so he could go fishing. Every weekend he fished for sheephead, trout, red drum, Virginia mullet or flounder depending on the season and made sure his non fishing friends and his little sister had fresh fish to eat, bringing them clean to their house. Mike did not like to travel away from his home, but he did come to my house for Christmas sometimes and once was able to see and visit his daughter, her husband and his three small granddaughters at our house. We were also blessed to have Mike attend Jill and Aric’s wedding and Mike was a strong supporter of his sisters and we all knew it was very hard for Mike to attend Allen’s funeral When Mike could no longer plumb, he began working at the Ft Fisher Air Force Recreation Base in their Toy Box and creating custom built rods for his company called Local Rods. Slogans on Mike’s business cards were “fish feared Mike with a local rod”. Big Mike as he was called , made many friends with workers and visitors who came to visit the Toy Box to rent a bike, kayak, or tent or to get fishing supplies or ice cream, candy or a soft drink. During this last year several children of families that had visited Mike years ago at the Toy Box had called to see how he was doing. He enjoyed watching his friends and other children grow. Mike’s generosity and thoughtful gifts were evident to all who knew him well. He shared his plumbing, fishing and carpentry skills and helped those who “needed a lift up in their life” He loved watching NASCAR races , watching Major League baseball and called daily during ACC and NCAA tournament times to make sure we all knew the schedule for Duke basketball. His most memorable gift was when he surprised Andrew, Sarah and BeBe with custom built Carolina Blue fishing rods complete with Penn reels filled with the best line and appropriate tackle to catch BIG Fish . Mike spent lots of time with BeBe’s grandchildren when they would visit him and always had special surprises awaiting them. Water guns turned into water battles with super soakers by the grandchildren and Mike. He made gifts for them and talked with Andrew about being a Boy Scout. He took us all crabbing complete with all the gear and breakfast biscuits too.He was always telling them about the big fish he was catching with his friends and made sure they were involved in Carolina Beach Kid’s Fishing Tournament.. Oh the stories, we can all tell about Mike, my brother. I will truly miss my big brother and friend.. Please know he is no longer suffering from his bladder cancer, kidney failure, diabetes and heart problems and I know now he is no longer in pain. I am at peace with Mike’s passing and know that his love is in the hearts of all of those who knew and loved him. Barbara and I hope you will join us the first weekend in August when we will have a gathering for Mike’s friends at the beach. Please share with any others who knew Mike.