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Jerry Semones

Jerry Semones, our beloved husband, father and grandfather “crossed the bar” October 31, 2018.  The poem “Crossing the Bar” by Lord Tennyson expressed his feelings of final departure.  He is survived by his wife of 61 years Delores (Dede); daughters Angela Adams (Johnie), Sarah Semones (Kenny), Mary Ligon (Benny); grandchildren Logan Adams, Mary Katherine Pratt, Laine Elliott,  William Pratt and his beloved dog Sophie.  His family was his greatest love and pride.

Jerry was born in Pulaski, Virginia to James Guy Semones and Ella Jane Williams Semones on February 5, 1939 and raised in Wytheville, Virginia.  He graduated from East Tennessee State University and started working for Sussex County Schools in 1961 as a teacher and coach.  He later became the director of instruction, and in 1969, after the untimely death of William J. Mayes, he became the youngest public school superintendent in the state of Virginia at the age of 30.

He had a wonderful career and with William J. Story (Assistant Superintendent) and Herbert Winn (Director of Instruction) focused his efforts at open governance, recruiting excellent personnel, improving academics, and establishing a first-class sports program.  Jerry’s proudest achievement was implementing desegregation in the Sussex County school system.  Jerry was also active in promoting education at the State level.  Another of his achievements was working closely with the state superintendent to facilitate the passage of legislation prohibiting corporal punishment in the public schools.

Jerry was a man of all seasons and a true gentleman who always saw the best in people.  Jerry was an active member of the Emporia Country club for 57 years.  He loved the game of golf where he had been a scratch player and enjoyed playing the 19th with his buddies.  He loved to bird hunt, and he traversed many miles with his friend Herb Winn through the cut-overs in Sussex County.  Jerry was an avid reader of history and politics.  He also loved to socialize with his friends often hosting Wednesday night dinners at the Harrell’s Mill Pond cabin.

The family would like to thank all his care givers for their compassionate care.  At Jerry’s request, there will not be a service.  Instead, the family will host a ‘celebration of life’ at a later date.   In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Jarratt Volunteer Fire Department would be welcome. 

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

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