The morning of Wednesday, February 24 May Jones Hooks slipped peacefully from this troubled world to be welcomed at Heaven’s Gate by her Savior, her loving husband, and family members who had gone before.
May was born at home in Candler County on July 22nd, 1926, the third of four daughters of Carson and Patriel May Jones. The four girls grew up on the family farm, sharing one bedroom. After graduation from Metter High School in 1943 she attended Georgia State College for Women (Georgia College), where she enjoyed participating in the College Choir Guild and was chosen for the school Acapella Choir which toured all over the country. The following year she married her handsome suitor, Vendie H. Hooks Jr. of Lexsy who at the time was serving in the US Coast Guard. In later years VH proclaimed that if he had a daughter, she would NEVER attend Georgia State College for Women where, although they were married, he and May could not leave campus without a chaperone!
Shortly after her graduation VH completed his military service, and the couple moved to Nashville, TN where VH began his studies at Gupton Jones School of Mortuary Science. After his graduation May and VH returned to Metter and established Hooks Mortuary after initially purchasing Kingery Funeral Home and later Johnson Funeral Home in Metter.
After the arrival of their two sons--Vendie in 1948 and Jones four years later—May began to realize that starting a business and serving the public would require some sacrifices. It was during this time that May succeeded in becoming one of the first female licensed funeral directors in the state. Although a private person, May found herself in a very public arena. She worked hard to maintain her home (above the Funeral Home) as her private space while keeping the business downstairs. In her profession she found herself busy in community leadership roles: the American Legion Auxiliary, the Georgia Funeral Directors Association Auxiliary, and Advisor for the Candy Stripers Program at Candler County Hospital, to name a few. She was an active member of First Baptist Church.
Long before magazine articles were written about achieving “balance”, May pursued balance in her marriage, in motherhood and in her profession.
May was a breast cancer survivor but did suffer from lymphedema in her arm following her initial treatment. Because of her personal experience and through her own research she traveled to Princeton, New Jersey and learned of what at that time was revolutionary treatment for lymphedema. After her return she met with the boards of University and Saint Joseph’s Hospitals in Augusta and was responsible for both institutions implementing lymphedema treatment programs.
May and VH faithfully served friends and neighbors “offering the kind of service we would desire” until 1991, when they retired and moved from the funeral home to Willow Lake Drive. As “general contractor” May lovingly attended to each step of the design, construction, furnishing, and landscaping of their new home. She had finally found her secret garden and cherished her privacy.
As unique an individual as God ever created, folks familiar with May would say she had a few ‘favorite things”: the color PINK; all things Asian; gadgets—May was an “early adopter”; shopping; landscaping; fashion and building/design magazines; sweets; AND of course, her family—her adoring husband, those special sons, daughters-in-law who became her daughters, six grandchildren, and eventually eleven great grands.
By her grandchildren, Grandmommie will forever be remembered as a fun-loving grandmother who cackled uproariously during a funny movie (legend has it she was more fun to watch than the movie!), loved having her family all together under one roof, was a wonderful cook, and, also to the great delight of her grandchildren, was an easy target for fun-spirited practical jokes!
She will be remembered by all as kind-hearted and caring; a sweet gentle spirit with a contagious laugh and smiling eyes, always thinking of others first.
Now you see through a glass, darkly, but someday you will see Me face to face. Then you will know fully how wide and long and high and deep is My Love for you. I Corinthians 13:12
May is predeceased by her parents, Carson Jones and Patriel Jones Lanier, husband Vendie H. Hooks, Jr., and two sisters, Katrina Jones Mills and Madge Jones Trapnell.
She is survived by her sons Vendie Hudson Hooks III, MD (Carolyn) of Augusta and Carson Jones Hooks (Stephanie) of Jekyll Island; six grandchildren Vendie Hudson Hooks IV (Lauren), Susanna Hooks Sayer (Jason), Carson J. Hooks Jr. (Julia), David B. Hooks (Clare), Christopher Hooks (Elizabeth), and Katherine W. Hooks ; and eleven great grandchildren Anna Logan Hooks, Virginia Hooks, Riley Sayer, Caroline Sayer, Davis Hooks, Hudson Hooks, Ella Marie Hooks, Lucy Hooks, Margaux Hooks, Brer Hooks, and John Hudson Billings; and a sister Nancy Jones Lanier.
Due to COVID restrictions a private family memorial service is planned for a later date.
Memorial gifts may be offered to: Metter First Baptist Church, 50 S. Rountree St., Metter, GA 30439 or to the Foundation for Public Education in Candler County, P. O. Box 21 Metter, GA 30439
The family wishes to thank the staff of Azalea Nursing and Rehabilitation, Metter, and The Lodge at Bethany, Statesboro, for their professional care and concern for May during her residencies there.
Mrs. Hooks will lie in state at Hooks Chapel from 1 until 6 o’clock Friday, February 26, 2021 and from 9 o’clock in the morning until 1 o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, February 27, 2021 and friends are welcome to come in and sign the register book during those times.
Kennedy Funeral Home Hooks Chapel will be in charge of all arrangements.
To send flowers to May Jones Hooks' family, please visit our floral store.