Farewell Grandpa

Friends, family and countless country music peers turned out yesterday afternoon to bid their final farewells to Grand Ole Opry legend and friend Grandpa Jones. The memorial service held at the Grand Ole Opry House drew in such friends as Steve Wariner, Connie Smith, Garth Brooks, Kitty Wells, Marty Stuart, Jim Ed Brown, Jeannie Seely and Gary Chapman. Performing were Ricky Skaggs, the Whites, Stuart and Jim & Jesse McReynolds, who sang “Fallen Leaves,” a favorite Grandpa Jones number. Approximately 1,000 people attended the services. A wreath of flowers was placed on Grandpa Jones’ dressing room door prior to this past weekend’s Opry show. Opry host and long-time friend of Jones, Porter Wagoner, placed a single long-stem rose center stage and in the warmth of a spotlight, his banjo was placed on the side of the stage where he performed for the last time January 3rd. Although the mood at the Opry was sad, it was the memory of Grandpa’s humor, talent and love for tradition that remained in everyone’s thoughts. The audience showed their love with a standing ovation following a touching moment of silence during the performance. Jones passed away on the evening of February19th at the age of 84. The singer/musician/comedian had been in Nashville, Tennessee’s Baptist Hospital since January after having suffered a stroke backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. Louis Marshall Jones was born in Niagra, Kentucky in 1913, the youngest of 10 children. He became an Opry member in 1947 and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978.