Southgate Jones, Jr. ’42

Southgate Jones, Jr. ’42 died peacefully June 5 in Durham, N.C. Born of Southgate Jones and Nancy Green Jones, the family has been a part of Durham’s history since the 1860s. Among his many accomplishments and contributions, Southgate was president of J. Southgate and Son, Inc. Insurance Agency founded by his great-grandfather in 1872. Within the insurance profession, he was also the president of Independent Insurance Agents of America and president of Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, who presented him with a lifetime achievement award for service to his industry. Southgate was a bellwether contributor to his community, including service as president of the Durham Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the United Way, the Red Cross, and the Durham Jaycees. He was a member of numerous other boards, including service on the Durham City Council, the N.C. Planning Board, and the N.C. Symphony. Service to country was such an important part of Southgate’s life. He served four years in the U.S. Army during WWII and 26 additional years in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as colonel and occupying the brigadier general position. He served four major campaigns in France and Germany and was a military governor both in Salzburg, Austria, and in the Berchtesgarden area in Bavaria. A graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, he was also the battalion commander, brigade, chief of staff, and assistant division commander of the 108th Division of the U.S. Army Reserve. Southgate earned numerous awards, including the Legion of Merit, Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Four Battle Stars, N.C. Order of the Longleaf Pine, Order of Kentucky Colonels, Civic Honor Award, and Durham’s Father of the Year. Southgate had a love for the arts and was both a painter and composer. His music compositions have often been performed at Trinity United Methodist Church, where he was a choir member for more than 50 years; and a special performance was hosted by the Music Appreciation Group of Duke University last year, who presented a program of his music. In addition to anthems and other works, he composed a sizeable volume of secular songs, ballads, and instrumental works. His paintings have been displayed throughout the Durham community and have won many juried shows. An avid golfer, Southgate was past club champion at Hope Valley Country Club. He was an outdoorsman, enjoying boating, fishing, and hunting. Southgate’s greatest loves were God, his family, and Trinity United Methodist Church, where he served as chairman of the trustees. His deep faith was an example to all and was such a comfort to him during his last months. This faith will last on in his surviving family members: wife, Dewey Owen Jones, 3505 Tonbridge Way, Durham, NC 27707; daughters, Nancy Beauvais (Ron), Dorsay Eichhorn (Keith), and Janet Cagle (Dan); son, Southgate Jones III (Charlotte); stepson, Mike Jones (Katie); grandchildren, Lawrence MacDougald Fountain, Jr., Vinton Southgate Fountain, Moyer Decatur Fountain, John Douglas Howard III, Carolyn Brendle Howard, Daniel Franklin Cagle III, Anderson Southgate Cagle, Southgate Jones IV, Margaret Elizabeth Jones, Alexander Moyer Jones, and three step-grandchildren, Stephanie Kim Plucker, Jessica Diane Jones, and Charles Michael Jones II; three great-grandchildren; sister, Nancy Strong; and brother, Lyell Jones. Southgate was preceded in death by his first wife, Carolyn Moyer Jones, and by two brothers, Thomas Decatur Jones and Nathaniel Green Jones.