- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 17, 2005

DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) — R. Beasley Jones Sr., a Democrat who served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1979 until 1992, died of cancer May 13 at his home in Dinwiddie County. He was 66.

Mr. Jones represented the 62nd District, which included Brunswick, Greensville and Sussex counties, Emporia and parts of Dinwiddie.

“He just enjoyed working with people in the community,” said his son, Robert Beasley Jones Jr., of Richmond. “He enjoyed interacting, helping people solve some of their problems, no matter how small they may be.”

Mr. Jones supported the removal of tolls from Interstate 85, the widening of U.S. Route 58, and education initiatives that benefited his district.

“He was a very humble-type person,” said L. Ray Ashworth, a former delegate and lobbyist. “He was not in it for the big headlines. He represented his people and represented them well.”

In 1981, when Delegate Gerald L. Baliles ran for attorney general, Mr. Jones introduced Mr. Baliles to the people of his district.

“He was very much in my corner,” said Mr. Baliles, who won that election and went on to win the governor’s race in 1985. “In his district, I think it’s safe to say, if there was a Ruritan barbecue, a civic event, an athletic championship game, he didn’t just invite me to attend — he insisted I be present.”

Mr. Jones lost his House seat in the 1991 election that followed statewide redistricting.

Born in Richmond and raised in La Crosse, Mr. Jones earned an associate’s degree from Chowan College, a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University and a master’s degree from the College of William & Mary.

He coached high school baseball in Emporia and at Dinwiddie High School, where he served as principal from 1974 until 1992. He also worked as the Dinwiddie public schools’ coordinator for programs for at-risk students before retiring.

In addition to his son, Mr. Jones is survived by a daughter, Susan Nash Jones Skinner, of Greenville, N.C.

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