Cabarrus County recently lost a longtime leader, advocate and dedicated community servant.
Branson Coltrane Jones of Concord died Jan. 31. He was 82.
The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution honoring Jones' memory and achievements at its Feb. 15 meeting.
Jones was born in Concord in 1927. His grandfather Daniel Branson Coltrane founded the Concord National Bank and the Concord Telephone Co., which later became CT Communications.
Jones graduated from Concord High School in 1944 and served in the Navy Seabees during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Presbyterian College in 1950 with a degree in commerce. He began working at Cannon Mills as a trainee and worked his way to executive vice president and director of manufacturing and corporate public affairs until he retired in 1986.
That year, he became the county's first economic development and industrial recruiter with the Cabarrus Economic Development Corp. He was responsible for helping recruit Oiles America Corp., a manufacturer of self-lubricating bearings that brought economic investment and jobs to Cabarrus County. From 1990 to 1996, he was a vice president, director and consultant for the company.
County commissioner Liz Poole said Jones, her neighbor and lifelong friend, dedicated his life to working to improve the county.
"He did anything and everything to make sure Cabarrus County prospered," she said.
Poole brought a framed copy of the commissioners' resolution to Jones' wife, Joan, after the meeting last week.
While others remember Jones for his service to the area, his wife said she remembers him as a loving father and grandfather who enjoyed taking the family on vacations to Myrtle Beach and watching their two grandchildren play soccer.
They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in October with a lunch he planned at Morningside of Concord, an assisted living facility where he lived.
"We had a really nice lunch," Joan Jones said.
Poole said Jones was an avid Duke University fan.
"We had long battles," said Poole, a graduate of UNCChapel Hill.
The commendation from the commissioners is only the most recent of the awards Jones compiled. He was awarded the Jaycees' Young Man of the Year in 1960 and the President's Achievement Award from the Cabarrus Chamber of Commerce in 1991. In 2000, he was named one of Cabarrus County's 100 most influential people over the last 100 years.