Brig. Gen. George A. Jones, a Roosevelt resident whom the Nassau County Legislature recently honored by commissioning a statue in his likeness, died Friday morning at the age of 93, his daughter, Gwen Andrews, said Sunday.
Jones had been hospitalized since late August for multiple health issues, but his cause of death had not yet been formally issued, Andrews said.
Jones enlisted in the New York National Guard in 1939 at age 16. He went on to join the U.S. Army and fight in World War II and the Korean War. He continued to serve in the National Guard until 1970 and was promoted to brigadier general in retirement.
He also was a New York City firefighter from 1947 to 1967, and he worked for Nassau County for 30 years as the director of equal opportunity employment and minority business enterprise officer.
Citing Jones’ notable career in public service, the county legislature in July 2015 approved $22,000 for a statue of Jones, which will eventually be placed at the American Legion’s Post 1957 in his hometown.
Jones had considered the statue “an honor and a tribute,” particularly since it was commissioned while he was still living, Andrews said. She and Jones attended its unveiling last month in Roosevelt.
“He knew he was a dedicated civil servant,” she said Sunday in a phone interview. “He knew he cared about the community, and that statue showed the caring and respect the community gave him. It was also a legacy for his great-granddaughter. That was very important to him . . . that he would live on in that statue for her and for the community and other generations. We have our own heroes right here in our own community.”
In keeping with Jones’ wishes, the family will not have a wake or funeral other than an interment to be held at Calverton National Cemetery, once approved, Andrews said.
The family will hold a public memorial service at a future date.
“He was always my hero, as a fireman, as a soldier,” Andrews said of her father. “Later in my life I began to realize that his mission, his purpose here . . . was to share his experiences, his knowledge and whatever wisdom he had with others and to pass that on to the next generation.”