Cover photo for Sarah Leigh Jones's Obituary
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Sarah Leigh Jones

June 27, 1925 — June 13, 2019

Sarah Leigh Jones

Sarah Leigh Jones died June 13, 2019 at home. Sarah Leigh was born in Whaleyville in Nansemond County June 27, 1925. She was predeceased by her husband, James C. Jones, former Mayor of Holland, her daughter, Victoria Leigh Jones, her parents, James Clement Russell and Ethel Draper Russell, and her brother, James Clement Russell, Jr. She is survived by her son Russell Turner and his wife, Charlene, daughter Carla Ann Jones, and grandchildren Kelly Turner Zarrilli and her husband Joey and Lee Turner and his wife Desiree. She is also survived by great grandchildren Zach and Maxx Zarrilli.

Sarah Leigh received an associate degree in Business Administration from Mary Washington College. Her many activities include past president and a fifty plus year member of the Holland Woman’s Club, past president of the Holland Community House Corporation, fifty plus year member of the Holland Ladies Bridge Club, and co-chairman of the Initiative Steering Committee for Improvements in Holland. Sarah Leigh was a charter member of the Southside District International Association of Administrative Professionals and is past president of the Pilot Club of Suffolk. She was the first woman to serve as chairman of the Suffolk Red Cross Board and also served on the Riddick’s Folly Board and the Suffolk Tomorrow Committee. She was also a Suffolk Red Hatter.

For a total of twenty-five years, Sarah Leigh served as secretary at Holland High School, Forest Glen High School, and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. After retiring, she served as an Administrative Assistant in the General Assembly in Richmond for twenty-two  years, serving under Senators Nolen, McFarland, Miller, Schewel, and Lambert, as well as Commonwealth of Virginia Senate Clerk Susan Schaar.

Community involvement was important to Sarah Leigh. One of her favorite activities was the  chaperone for the Peanut Festival Queen and Court for ten years where she was known as “Miss Manners”. Before coming to Holland, Sarah Leigh was the Choir Director and organist for Whaleyville Methodist Church. As a member of Holy Neck Christian Church, she served as the organist and choir director.  She also  was a member of the Women’s Fellowship, Youth Fellowship Director, Music Committee member, Conference Parliamentarian, and Ladies Sunday School Class teacher.

Clothes and fashion were also important to Sarah Leigh. She worked for Denison’s Dress Shop in Suffolk, Ann”s Dress Shop in Waverly and moderated many fashion shows. In 1954, she was selected as one of the ten best dressed women in Suffolk.

The family extends its deepest appreciation to her caregivers, Janet, Rhonda, Mary Ann, Carolyn and Marie.  Heartland Hospice, particularly Rina, prepared all of us for this day.  As much as she loved them, in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Children’s Center (

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 17, 2019 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at R. W. Baker & Company Funeral Home and Crematory.  A funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 am on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at Holy Neck Christian Church, 4400 Holy Neck Road, Suffolk.  Condolences and memories may be shared at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sarah Leigh Jones, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Monday, June 17, 2019

6:00 - 7:30pm (Eastern time)

R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, Downtown Suffolk

509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)

Holy Neck Christian Church

4400 Holy Neck Rd, Suffolk, VA 23437

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