Earl Jones, III aka Earl Jones, of Norfolk, VA, 63 years old, passed away this past Sunday morning, October 24th at Sentara Norfolk General after a battle with cancer. His life partner and family are deeply saddened by his sudden death. He was born on July 16th, 1957, attended Kempsville High School and ODU, and lived in Norfolk and Virginia Beach the majority of his life.
Earl owned Outright Books and retired later as a Real Estate Agent with Howard Hanna Real Estate.
Friend Jorge Sague remembers Earl as a caring, involved individual. “From the time he started a little store and coffee house by Mt. Trashmore on Independence Boulevard to the building on Granby with Lambda Rising, Earl served our community with all his heart. It shows you how long he had been at it that I cannot even remember the original store’s name. He supported Youth Out United with all his might. He helped TACT. He helped Rev Jim’s church. He helped Pride. He helped many individuals in quiet ways and he was always a joy.”
Local educator and LGBTQ historian Dr. Charles Ford remembered Earl’s contributions to the community in a Facebook post: “It was at Earl’s Outright Books in Larkspur where I spied the personal ad on the hand-written index card pinned to the bookstore’s bulletin board that led me to Kevin Girard (his now husband) in July 1993. He would be an important mentor and advisor of sorts to us in the 1990s, guiding us to buy our present home of 22 years in a neighborhood far outside of Ghent. Earl gave the Tidewater Crisis Taskforce (TACT) a haven after the Duke-Grace Building in 1995, and he helped to bring Lambda Rising to Norfolk the next year.”
He is survived by his life partner, Kevin Metz; his mother, Frances Jones and sisters, Kimberly Westmoreland and Michelle LeBoffe; nephews Alexander LeBoffe, Austin Westmoreland; niece Brittaney Ryker and an aunt Janet Burke. We will all miss him more than words can say.
A graveside service is pending at Rosewood Memorial Park. Contributions in memory of Earl can be made to the American Cancer Society.