Veteran and civil rights lawyer Johnnie Jones buried in Louisiana National Cemetery

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — He was a civil rights activist and Louisiana’s oldest World War II veteran, father, and community pioneer in Baton Rouge. Johnnie A. Jones Sr. was laid to rest Monday.

Jones died on April 23 at 102 years old. Among his many accomplishments, he was the first Black Army soldier to qualify as a warrant officer and was part of Southern University Law Center’s first graduating class.

SULC Chancellor John Pierre said it is because of Jones’ bravery that we are able to do the things we do.

“The things you do today that you don’t even consider important are due to the courage and camaraderie of Johnnie A. Jones,” said Pierre.

Last year, Jones received a Purple Heart for being injured during the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

“Grandpa or Dad, whatever you call him, he gave up the Purple Heart for the Heart of God,” said Patricia Gail Wood, a relative of Jones.

Jones was also a Christian and a family man. His family remembered him on Monday for his boldness. They said Baton Rouge could look to its heritage to find the right path.

“He’s a man who didn’t choose the easy way, he chose the right way. So I say to my family, my friends and my constituents, let’s do it the way he did it – the right way. said Wood.

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Jon J. Epps