Striffler-Hamby Mortuary - Columbus

4071 Macon Road, Columbus, GA


Kay Jones

16 September, 195326 June, 2020
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Nita Kay Burgess Jones passed away peacefully and into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 26, 2020, after a short illness.

Kay was born on September 16, 1953, in Houston, Mississippi, daughter of Rose Margaret and William Edward Burgess. They soon relocated to Lucedale, Mississippi where she learned the virtues of small-town living and the strong values of family and love. It was here that she attended Lucedale Elementary and graduated from George County High School. She furthered her education by receiving an Associates's degree from Perkinston Junior College and a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Business Education, and a Specialist of Business Education from the University of Mississippi. It was at “Ole Miss” that she met the love of her life.

As a member of the Wesley Foundation of the United Methodist Church, she met Rick in 1976. He was a struggling graduate student that desperately needed her help. Later in life, Rick’s dad would tell her that she was the best thing to ever happen to Rick. They dated for short while and decided to get married on January 1, 1978. Many would suspect that this was so that he would not forget their marriage anniversary, when in fact it was because the date fell on a Sunday when there were no football bowl games on.

After they married, the couple moved to Selma, Alabama where she took a job as a legal secretary and then as a business teacher for a job training program at the local community college. Both enjoyed living here as it was an equal distance from each of their parent’s homes.

In 1982, Rick’s job took him to Del Rio, Texas where Kay found employment at Del Rio High School as a business education teacher. It was here that she enjoyed learning about new cultures and new ideas. It was also here that she experience the gift of life with the birth of her son, JW. Kay was a proud mother and loved him with all her heart. Tragedy though stuck in 1984 when JW contracted a brain infection that caused him to be left side impaired and mentally challenged. That didn’t stop her though. Her love for him only intensified to make sure that he received the physical therapy and the best education available to him. She was his champion in every facet of his life and continued to be so until her death. The family moved to Columbus in 1988, again due to Rick’s job opportunity. It was here that she secured employment with Phillips Business College where she taught typing. She then moved on to Spencer High School, and it was here that Kay had some of her most memorable and enjoyable years as a teacher. It was also here that she met many of the teachers at the school that would be her lifelong friends. Friends she would always cherish. She once said that she would never care to leave Spencer, but Columbus High School’s job of being the Career Education Department Chair came calling. She would spend several good years and eventually leave for Jordan High School where she would retire in 2015. She loved her students wherever she went and always wanted the very best for them.

During her retirement years, she would focus most of her attention on JW to ensure his quality of life. Kay loved going to the Springer Opera House and to the Rivercenter for the Performing Arts to see live performances and concerts. More importantly, though, she enjoyed going out for meals with her husband and friends. At home, she enjoyed all the home improvement and wedding shows on television, even the ones that were reruns. The DVR was also her friend as she always wanted to watch her favorite drama or detective show as it was quality time for her and Rick in the late evenings. She was also an avid reader, reading anything that John Grisham wrote as long as it was in hardback. And if you wanted her to be your friend, just make sure you had plenty of Diet Coke on hand.

It was also during this time that she would contract diabetes and eventually cancer. Kay was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and immediately began treatment. Between diabetes and cancer, she fought a long and hard battle. She never gave up and she never complained. A complication of these illnesses and other factors led to her eventual passing.

Kay was a strong, educated, and loving woman as evidenced by the life she led. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, James W. "Rick" Jones, II; her son, James William "JW" Jones, III; her brother, William E. “Eddie” Burgess Jr.; nephews, William Burgess, Edwin Burgess, Chris Buttrill, Daniel Buttrill, Matt Buttrill, and Stephen Buttrill; nieces, Anna Isahaq and Hope Gulsby; aunt, Ann (Eddie) Bean; uncle, Jim (Mary Ann) Earp and many beloved great-nieces and nephews.

The family would also like to express its eternal gratitude to the hard-working nurses and doctors at Piedmont Midtown who compassionately cared for her and the loving support shown by Kay’s church family at Striplin Terrace United Methodist Church, and her lifetime friends who were always there to support her in her time of need.

A celebration of her life will take place on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at 3 pm (EST) at the Chapel at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary. Friends and family members are encouraged to attend and bring a mask as social distancing will be a part of this service. If you cannot attend, you are invited to watch live online through the mortuary’s Facebook page. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, from 5 to 7 pm at the mortuary. Fond memories and condolences may be left at www.shcolumbus.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Easter Seals of West Georgia, 2515 Double Churches Rd., Columbus, GA 31909 or to Striplin Terrace United Methodist Church, 4170 Striplin Terrace, Columbus, GA 31909.


  • James W. "Rick" Jones, II, Husband
  • James William "JW" Jones, III, Son
  • William E. “Eddie” Burgess, Jr., Brother
  • William Burgess, Nephew
  • Edwin Burgess, Nephew
  • Chris Buttrill, Nephew
  • Daniel Buttrill, Nephew
  • Matt Buttrill, Nephew
  • Stephen Buttrill, Nephew
  • Anna Isahaq, Niece
  • Hope Gulsby, Niece
  • Ann Bean (Eddie), Aunt
  • Jim Earp (Mary Ann), Uncle
  • Rose Margaret Burgess, Mother (deceased)
  • William Edward Burgess, Father (deceased)

Learn more about the Jones name


  • Jim Kinney
  • Keith Stein
  • Mansfield Bias
  • Eddie Burgess
  • Edwin Burgess
  • Charles Ragsdale

  • Easter Seals of West Georgia
  • Striplin Terrace United Methodist Church


  • Visitation of Family and Friends

    Tuesday, 30 June , 2020

  • A Celebration of Kay's Life

    Wednesday, 1 July , 2020


Kay Jones

have a memory or condolence to add?

Gracie Gulsby

July 1, 2020

My aunt Kay was like no other. Selfless and caring, and had such a good memory of all the things my sisters and I liked! She came to visit once and brought us each a recipe box to start our collection of recipes gathered from friends, and included some of hers in her handwriting too! She will be greatly missed. Thank you for your light, Aunt Kay. I am grateful to have experienced it ❤

Janis Day

July 1, 2020

I am truly sorry for your loss. I will be lifting all in special prayer during this time. May God's presence and peace give you strength.

Holli Browder

July 1, 2020

My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time. I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you strength and peace during this difficult time.

Jeffrey Nix

June 30, 2020

During my work with her husband Rick, I had an occasion to meet and chat with Kay a few times over the years. I always found her to be warm, funny, with an uplifting demeanor and sense of humor.

I remember just about every holiday season, Kay would fix her famous punch bowl cake for Rick to bring to the lucky recipients in city planning--and I have to say, it was ALWAYS a hit--you'd best be in the line when it was served because there was very little chance of getting seconds.

Thank you, Kay--for your inspiration and compassion--and Paula and I send our sincerest condolences to Rick, J.W., and the rest of the family--just be reassured that you've gained a guardian angel who'll be perched on your shoulder & in your heart from now on.

Aretha Brawley

June 30, 2020

My condolences to Rick Jones and family. Kay has always such a loving person. She had a heart of gold. She was my daughter's math teacher at Spencer High School in the early 2000's. They both had a deep passion for anything pertaining to Scooby-Doo and would often trade memerbelias.
Her Dash should be a 🤍.
Sincerely, Aretha
P.S. Kaye could make a punch bowl cake that was outstandingly delicious.
Gone but never forgotten.

Lisa Goodwin

June 30, 2020

So sorry for your loss...I pray God's continued comfort and strength during this difficult time. Continue to look to the hills for your strength.

Nancy Ausland

June 29, 2020

A beautiful lady inside and out, Kay will be missed.

Queen Spivey

June 29, 2020

May God bless and keep the family in His tender loving care during this difficult time.

With heartfelt condolences.

Administrative Assistant
W. H. Spencer High School

Feton Grant

June 29, 2020

I remember the first time I met Kay. She came up to Ricks Office to visit. I came into Ricks Office to meet her. She made me feel that I was her best friend (but, I'm sure she made everyone feel that way). I took it to heart, that I was her best friend. After that, when we would meet for social functions, etc. she always made me fill that I was special to her. I cherished that to this day. She was a big hit at our functions when food was involved because Rick would always volunteer for Kay to make her famous desert. It was enjoyed by all. I am truly going to miss her. She had a heart of gold. I feel her looking down and seeing all of her best friends and me being proudly "one of them".

Myra Tinney

June 28, 2020

First met Kay when both my children attended Spencer HS in the special ed dept. she got a kick out of my daughter and spent a lot
If time with her at school.
Then we met again at Easter Seals where both my children attended as did JW
Kay was always the sweetest person
She will be greatly missed
My condolences to the family
Myra Tinney
John and Geri Pfeiffer


Learn more about the Jones name