February 25, 1949 ~ February 2, 2019
Born in: Denver, CO
Resided in: Aurora, CO
Most of you should recall the “red boned sista” who was described in the Homecoming of the late Willie Cephas Jones. Well here is the story of the loving mother, wife, and grandmother, she would become.
Teresa Darlene Stroud was born on February 25, 1947, to the late Mary Lee Morney. “Darlene” as her family and late husband would refer to her, was raised in East Denver, Colorado at the properties located on 29th and Stout along with her older brother, the late Robert Stroud, also at that exact residence. Darlene was also raised alongside the Clark Family that included 6 children born to Annie B. and Lenward Clark. By 1952, the household family would multiply by the addition of the Falls family consisting of 9 children birthed to Bennie and Elder Josephine Falls. Eventually, this household would grow exponentially through the addition of the Brooks family, the Gunn family, the Juniel family, the Smith family, the Williams family, the Robinsons, the Lewis Family, and also including neighborhood families like the Beechum’s. From this expanded family, the children were to eventually form the first Pentecostal Choir of Bethel Church of Christ Holiness under the Reverend Caldwell in the basement of the property at 29th and Stout
It is essential in mentioning everyone here because all of the offspring from each family were raised together as siblings and there existed a joint or combined parenting by the adults. Also, one must understand that this is not only the legacy of the property, but also a history of Early to Mid 1900’s Denver as the Heads of the Clark, Stroud, and Falls family all migrated to Denver deriving from Mississippi.
A factor that is most relevant to this discourse is Darlene’s assertion on the importance of family bonds and family ties as you will see. It can be noted here that Darlene found one of her lifelong passions, which was singing. Many of her friends and family remember Teresa Darlene’s powerful voice. In fact, her voice was compared to that of Aretha Franklin’s. Later, her passion and expertise in singing would help shape and inspire her youngest son’s singing career.
Teresa’s mother, Mary Lee Morney’s, occupation as a housecleaner would lead her to a Jewish client named Ms. Hoffman who would become a dear friend to Mary. Ms. Hoffman trusted and loved Mary so much, she told Mary to pick any house to live in that she would pay for. Mary did just that and moved into the house located at 3230 Franklin St.
During her upbringing, Darlene attended Gilpin Elementary, Cole Junior High, and briefly, Manual High School. During her High School tenure, Darlene moved to New York to reside with her maternal grandmother, the late Etta Kline, where she graduated in the class of 1967. Perhaps it was here that Darlene found her passion in fashion design as she was enamored in the latest styles as presented in the Big Apple. After a few years, Darlene then returned to Denver, where she enrolled at Emily Griffith Opportunity School, where she earned a certificate in Insurance Adjustment.
Around 1973, through an arrangement with a mutual friend, Darlene met the love of her life, the late Willie C. Jones, at the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Club (NCO) at the Lowry Air Force Base. Shortly after becoming friends and a brief courtship, they were married at Bethel Christ Holiness Church by the late Pastor Fritz Russell. To this union, a total of six children were born.
“To our loving recollection, our mother and father instilled in us a sense of cultural pride and a Christian lifestyle. The traditions and values established in our home were so genuine that oftentimes, neighborhood kids found delight in joining us during our dinner hour and during festivities.”
In 1995, Darlene enrolled at Concorde Career Institute, where she majored in Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy. She performed her externship at the National Jewish Medical Research Center, while working full time at Nabi, and other blood donation centers. She also assisted in the annual 9Health Fares in Denver. After quite a few years, her husband was at home taking over the babysitting of their grandchildren. For once in his life, Apostle Willie C. Jones, Jr. took on a duty much too difficult for himself and asked Darlene to return home and be a homemaker again, and she did just that.
Darlene really enjoyed spending quality time with her family, every chance she got, she would organize movie nights, spending time at the Denver Zoo, museums, amusement parks, and cookouts at the park. Her favorite restaurant to visit was Golden Corral. “To us kids at times, it became somewhat of a nuisance to eat at the buffet so frequently, but we took this in humor and sometimes traded off on who would go with her.”
Much to her delight, Darlene kept her kids active in church. Throughout her life, she was a member of Bethel Christ Holiness under Reverend Caldwell, Reverend Fritz Russell, Pastor Morgan, and Pastor Stanley E. and Christine Gaddis. She also attended Spottswood AME Zion under pastor Bishop Howard, Fishers of Men under pastor Josephine Falls, and The House of Joy Miracle Deliverance Church under Pastors Ralph and Caroline Beechum.
The “silent servant” title can be accredited to Darlene due to her devoted caretaking of her loved ones beginning with her mother. From the time of her mother, Mary’s, stroke around 1977 to her departure from us in 1995, Darlene’s care for her mother was relentless. Darlene also cared for her son, Trumaine, through his illnesses up until his untimely death 2011. Subsequently, she also tended to her son, Travis throughout his ailments and surgeries. As well as tending to her ailing husband, Willie C. Jones, until his untimely demise.
In the early afternoon of February 2, 2019, our Lord and Saviour saw fit to call his silent servant home. Darlene was at Lavaland with both of her daughters, daughter in law, and their children. Just as she was enjoying herself talking and laughing with her family, our loving mother, grandma or Nana, as she preferred to be called, collapsed from a heart attack.
Darlene is preceded in death her husband, Apostle Willie C. Jones, Jr.; her youngest son, Trumaine Demond Jones; her mother, Mary Lee Morney; and her brother, Robert Terrell Jones.
Those left to cherish her in memory are her children, Trent Draveil Sweetwine, Teckla (Vincent) Brown, Terrial Denise Jones, Travis Dion Jones, Terrance Darnell (Sheila) Jones; her grandchildren, Haley Davis, Therrian Jones, Theresa Jones, Trevares Dionte’ Jones, Jordan Robinson, Isaiah Zeke Sweetwine, Genesis Sweetwine, Syrus Trask, Fulani Elease Jones, Tevye’ Dakar Jones, Tevin Dayan Jones, Mary Jones, Terrance Jones, Jr., Eliana Jones, Jaison Sweetwine, Vincent Brown, Jr.; great grandchildren, Taiden Jones, Taelyn Jones, Ethan Jones, and Farrah Davis; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.