James Alan Jones, a 28-year-old computer science major from Huntsville, was found deceased in his apartment in Troy on June 19. His cause of death has not been released by the police.
Jones was active in the Wesley Foundation campus ministry, and his humble generosity put a smile on the faces of those who knew him.
“If anyone needed a seat, he was the one to give his up,” said Elaine Brown, campus minister at the Wesley Foundation.
“He typically hung around in the back and waited until everyone was seated before he would take a seat to make sure everyone had somewhere to sit,” she said. “He was the guy who would stay late to clean up without being asked.”
Jones earned his associate degree at Enterprise State Community College, and being accepted to Troy afterwards was one of his proudest moments, according to Brown.
“Alan loved Troy University,” Brown recalled. “When he got accepted here, he called his dad and had his dad drive down from Huntsville and take a picture of him in front of the fountain because he was so excited that he got accepted to Troy.”
Jones fondly called Troy his “school of second chances.”
“Alan was always striving to be a better person than the day he was before.” Brown said. “Sometimes he succeeded and sometimes he failed. But even in his failure he taught us things and he learned things himself.”
Brown described Jones as “good people.” He loved the outdoors, hunting, hiking, and building and was active in the Troy computer science club as well as “Celebrate Recovery,” a Christian-based addiction rehabilitation program.
“He would sit by anyone who was sitting alone,” said Emily Crisp, a junior nursing major from Millbrook. “He was so sweet and just had such an awesome presence. He was a big teddy bear and he was always happy.”
“He loved his school, he loved his God and he loved his family,” Brown said. “The Wesley (Foundation) will be a little bit dimmer without Alan.”
Jones is survived by his parents, Jim and Kathy Jones; brother, Michael Jones; two sisters, Jennifer Pittman (Chris) and Leslie Jones (Blake); grandmothers, Betty Jones and Juanita Biggar; nephew, Logan Pittman; niece, Morrigan Pittman; and girlfriend, Samantha Vance.