November 25, 1932 - January 12, 2019
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On January 12th 2019, a light went out on planet earth, But a new star emerged in the heavens.
Georgia Jones, known to some of her friends as "Sweet Georgia Brown" lived her life to the fullest. She never met a stranger, and once she claimed you as a friend you had a loyal confidant for life.
it's challenging to sum up her 86 years on a page, but if you don't know anything else about her - know that she was Fierce. An unstoppable force of nature who worked hard, loved family, developed lifelong friendships, and sparkled with her own brand of charm every time she entered a room.
Her off color jokes were legendary. When she held court the echo of laughter would fill the room.
Her nearly four decade career, with the Board of Education in Pittsburgh, reflects her will and determination to break the barriers of tradition. Georgia Jones entered the male dominated field of School custodian. A position that required technical certifications to operate themachinery that powered and heated area schools. Over the decades she rose through the ranks to become night boss and managed a staff, who under her direction always got the job done.
While she demanded perfection she was also a protector - taking on the job as shop steward for her Union - fighting for the rights of her co-workers. As testimony to her leadership, many of the folks who worked along side her became her work family, and lifelong friends.
Born the second oldest of 10 children, she was the Sister, Aunt and Cousin in the family, who was ever present, providing unwavering love, and support.
To her daughter and Grandson she was the champion of a good education and discipline.
At times she worked 3 jobs, to provide tutors, to ensure they would excel academically. She beamed with pride as both pursued and achieved college degrees in higher learning.
In retirement Georgia Jones caught the travel bug, stamping her Passport in St. Thomas, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, most of the Eastern Caribbean, and recently Hawaii where she promptly acquired a group of new cousins.
During travel she took center stage - showing off her line dancing and karaoke vocals. She embraced new experiences with joy, passion and delight.
On her 80th birthday the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia issued a proclamation making it "Georgia Jones Day". And for the first time, her Pittsburgh family and Virginia friends and family were in the same room to celebrate her. She said it was one of the best times of her life.
On Christmas day she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she faced death as she did life, with stoic bravery. As loved ones wept, she declared "You've got to die sometime, don't cry I'm not".
She lived 18 days, after the diagnosis, giving family and friends the opportunity to surround her with love, laughter, Georgia stories, and her favorite music as she transitioned.
She is predeceased by her Mother Roberta McAlpine Cunningham, and Father John McAlpine.
She is survived by her daughter Barbara Ciara, Grandson Robert Ciara. Great grandchildren, Tiesha Porter, Maura Ciara, Jared Ciara, Sarah Ciara. Grandchildren in law, Rachael Sinclair and Heidi White. Great great grandchildren , Aaliyah Wallace, Zoe Ciara, and Jo Jo Porter.
Siblings: George McAlpine (deceased), Rose Lee Cunningham (deceased), Lucy Whitley (deceased),Frances Parker, Dr. James Cunningham, Bessie Boyd, Elizabeth Cunningham, Major Cunningham (deceased), and Linda Watt.
Georgia Jones also leaves behind a large loving extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as a wide network of friends from Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Hawaii .
She is loved and adored by too many to list, you know who you are if you have a "Sweet Georgia Brown" story.
She lived a wonderful life, and taught many of us the true meaning of love and loyalty.
To borrow a lyric from one of her favorite tunes: "The greatest thing we'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
Mission accomplished Momma Georgia, rest in power.
Friends received Saturday, January 19th, 2019 10:00 am to 11:00 am at the St. Mark AME Church 1409 Montier Street Pittsburgh, PA 15221, where Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, January 19th, 2019 at 11:00 am.
Professional services entrusted to Coston Funeral Home, Inc. 412-661-5916 www.costonfuneralhome.com