Dad’s Tribute

The following was written by my mother and me.

Dr. Bobby Jones (1952 – 2012) SHELBY – Robert “Bobby” Spurgeon Jones, Jr. was born in Durham on June 13, 1952 and died on August 26, 2012.

He was preceded in death by grandparents Joseph Henry Jones and Euphemia Livingston Watson, and Yates Sperling and Essie Idella Spangler.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Dr. Martha McBrayer Jones, two children Warrant Officer Robert Matthew Jones and wife Leighia Angel Jones and grandson Robert Matthew Jones, Jr. of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Bonnie Marie Jones of Durham. He is also survived by his parents, Dr. Robert S. Jones, Sr. and Mabel Sperling Jones, two brothers Joseph Henry Jones and wife Julie Bradshaw Jones of Barnwell, South Carolina and Dr. Stephen Watson Jones and wife Dr. Kelly Eubanks Jones of Shelby, one brother-in-law Casey McBrayer of Rutherfordton, as well as three nieces and a nephew: Juliet and William Jones of Barnwell, South Carolina and Natalie and Caroline Jones of Shelby.

Bobby moved to Shelby at age six and was baptized at First Baptist Church. He attended Shelby High School and graduated in 1971. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 1974 with a major in Biology. In 1975, he married Martha McBrayer. Bobby was a member of the first four-year class of East Carolina School of Medicine, now the Brody School of Medicine, graduating in 1981. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1984. Dr. Bobby was board certified in Family Practice after completing his residency program and passing the AAFP board certification testing. Subsequently, Dr. Bobby did additional training and certification in geriatric medicine. He was an active member of the North Carolina Medical Society, North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Bobby returned to Shelby in 1984 joining his father at Jones Family Practice. In 1988, he opened Cleveland Family Practice. He had a wonderful staff and nurses who helped him serve their patients, and provide fine medical care to the community. Medicine was not only a profession for Dr. Bobby, it was a passion. He often said that he took joy in knowing his patient’s hearts and charts; what hurts them and heals them; who they love and what they love. Dr. Bobby also helped cultivate a new generation of doctors by serving as a preceptor for many family medicine students who studied with him in Shelby. In 2006, Cleveland Family Practice was acquired by CaroMont Health. They enjoyed a collaborative relationship and continued to serve their patients.

He was also an author. He contributed to a number of medical journals and medical texts, created several works of fiction, and authored a coloring book dedicated to his grandson. Despite his illness, he continued to work on a mandolin instruction book, which is co-authored with Wayne Benson. Acoustic music and his love for the mandolin resonated with Dr. Bobby, his family and his friends.

Music was a shared joy among all the members of the Jones family, and Dr. Bobby believed that a family that picks together, sticks together. Throughout the years, he was a member of Sawbone’s Grass, RiverBend Bluegrass Band, New River and Flint Hill Band. He was a frequent guest performer with Darin and Brooke Aldridge. More recently, he performed with The Leonard McSwain Band, and New Plowed Ground. He sang and played mandolin on 4 CDs. He was a member of the International Bluegrass Musicians Association. Dr. Bobby also played with the praise bands at Central United Methodist Church and Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

He loved hot summer days on a golf course. For years, he joined Jake Kiser to play a round of golf on Wednesdays at River Bend Golf Course for the “choose up,” as well as many evenings spent playing a few holes with his son. He played in several tournaments to include the annual Member Guest at River Bend and the Bobby Jones Open which he attended with both his son and father.

Throughout his illness, he was humbled to receive so many cards and remembrances from his patients and his friends. The family has appreciated the many prayers offered up in support. We have truly been surrounded by love.

Dr. Bobby had a tenacious spirit. He loved God and his family, and strived to live a humble life. He believed in the power of Faith, family, friends, music and fine medical care. He was honored to serve his patients and their families for twenty eight years. Even after his diagnosis, he maintained that he has lived better than many people ever get to or any of us deserve. He goes on to join his loved ones in heaven where the only patients he will attend to are those he watches over on earth, the music is always in time and in tune, and the golf balls fly with the slightest draw. He will live on through the love he shared with his family and friends on earth.

Dr. Bobby’s receiving of friends will be held at Cecil Burton Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 28th from 6pm-8pm. His funeral will be Aldersgate United Methodist at 4:30pm on Wednesday, August 29th with reception to follow in the Epworth Building. Dr. Bobby’s wish was that his friends who are musicians join in a jam session at both the receiving and the reception to celebrate his life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1207 West Dixon Boulevard, Shelby, NC 28152, (704) 487-5216,; Musicians Against Childhood Cancer, 1434 S. 3 B’s and K Rd., Galena, OH 43021, (740) 548-4199,, Or Brain Tumor Fund of the Carolinas,, (704)635-8643. Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Dr. Bobby Jones. Guest Registry is available


13 thoughts on “Dad’s Tribute

  1. This is a lovely tribute, Bonnie. Sometime I’ll share with you all of the musical things our families have in common. I wish your dad had been my doctor….you don’t find many like him. Deepest sympathy to you and your family. I know it’s been a long, hard road.

    • Thank you. I’d love to hear about your musical ventures too. Music has brought our family so much joy through the years. Thank you for all your e-support. I’ve been amazed at how kind people have been to me here.

  2. I’ve been thinking about your family a lot and then just came upon this blog.

    I’m so sorry your Dad passed away. So sorry. I mean it from the bottom of my heart from a daughter that’s lost a parent (to cancer). I feel for your broken heart.

    Here anytime to lend an ear if you want.

    Sending thoughts and strength to your and your family. Please take care of yourself. It’s times like these we don’t care or don’t pay attention because the grief is too hard. Thinking about you.

    • Thank you Tiffani. It’s been a long journey. I wish it had turned out differently, but we did our best to have joy in each day.

    • Thank you. I hope my dad would have been proud of the celebration of his life. I miss him more than I will ever be able to say. Thank you for your prayers. They keep me and my mom going.

  3. sorry for your loss. this post makes me cry..
    we don’t know each other personally but i feel like i know your struggles and how painful this journey has been ..
    be strong..take care..

    • Orchid,
      I know we haven’t exactly walked in the same shoes or down the exact same path, but I do feel like we can both empathize with how sore one’s feet can get in those shoes that must walk down this path. Sending love your way. Thank you for being a dear e-friend on this journey.

  4. i am very sorry for your loss. we haven’t interacted online but i get the sense that i know your brave and loving father through this wonderful tribute. you were able to do what i have been trying, yet failed, to do since my dad passed away 3 years ago — to write him a tribute. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. neil

    • Neil, I am so sorry to hear about your dad, and in an odd way, glad to hear that it will be okay to still miss him greatly in 3 years. I hope that when you are ready you can write a tribute, if you desire too. And even if it’s years down the road, I would love to read it.
      I just couldn’t bring myself to call this an obituary. It’s the telling of a life’s story of a man I love so dearly, so I called it a tribute. These are words that just scratch the surface of how pure a love story it is between child and father. Thank you for your prayers. Sending joy back to you.

  5. tribute is the appropriate word because what you and your mother wrote is about how he lived. in my book, your dad’s wish for a jam session is absolutely cool! i am not surprised though as i also used to play in an alternative rock band few years ago. musicians never let go of their music because that is one of the things that actually make them feel alive. maybe there should also be an unplugged acoustic jam session when it’s my time. poetry reading would also be nice, but all that will come much much later 🙂 neil

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