Robert Griffith Jones ’58

Robert (Bob) Griffith Jones, 87, a former City Council member and Mayor of Virginia Beach, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was born in State College, Pennsylvania, on March 25, 1936, the son of the Reverend Edward H. Jones, D.D. and Dorothy Griffiths Jones. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Carolyn Hazard Jones, his sons Robert Griffith Jones, Jr., and his wife Phyllis Margaret Rhode Jones, of Virginia Beach, and Chester Hazard Jones of Tampa, Florida; granddaughters, Mary Randell Davatchi and her husband Devin Joel Armon Davatchi of Greenville, South Carolina, Pamela Elliott Jones of Virginia Beach, and his sister, Doreen Jones Owens, of Citrus Heights, California.

Bob graduated from Granby High School in the class of 1954, and from Davidson College, class of 1958, where he was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa honorary fraternity and named to Who’s Who Among American College and University Students. He went on to graduate from Yale University Divinity School, where he was inspired by the brothers H. Richard Niebuhr and Reinhold Niebuhr, and subsequently earned a Ph.D. degree from Duke University in 1966 in the field of social psychology.

In his career he served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Davidson College, in Davidson, North Carolina and Assistant Dean of Students, Associate Professor and Assistant to the President at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Later he served as a Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

In 1974 he graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and subsequently practiced law in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, where he founded the law firm of Jones, Walker & Lake, P.C. He is listed in Who’s Who Publication for Best Lawyers in America.

In addition to being on City Council and the Mayor of Virginia Beach, he also served as chair of the Virginia Beach Development Authority and chair of the Virginia Beach Beautification Commission.

He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach where he led an adult Sunday School class for 22 years.

The family would like to thank all the wonderful and caring staff at Bay Lake Retirement and Assisted Living Community for all their help in taking care of Bob and Carolyn the last 16 months.

A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach, 300 36th Street, on June 26th at 1 PM. A family burial will be at Graham Cemetery in Orange, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The Alzheimer’s Association.