Sarah Leigh Jones

Sarah Leigh Jones

Suffolk, VA
06.27.1925 - 06.13.2019
Whaleyville, Nansemond County

Sarah Leigh Jones died June 13, 2019 at home. Sarah Leigh was born in Whaleyville in Nansemond County June 27, 1925. She was predeceased by her husband, James C. Jones, former Mayor of Holland, her daughter, Victoria Leigh Jones, her parents, James Clement Russell and Ethel Draper Russell, and her brother, James Clement Russell, Jr. She is survived by her son Russell Turner and his wife, Charlene, daughter Carla Ann Jones, and grandchildren Kelly Turner Zarrilli and her husband Joey and Lee Turner and his wife Desiree. She is also survived by great grandchildren Zach and Maxx Zarrilli.

Sarah Leigh received an associate degree in Business Administration from Mary Washington College. Her many activities include past president and a fifty plus year member of the Holland Woman’s Club, past president of the Holland Community House Corporation, fifty plus year member of the Holland Ladies Bridge Club, and co-chairman of the Initiative Steering Committee for Improvements in Holland. Sarah Leigh was a charter member of the Southside District International Association of Administrative Professionals and is past president of the Pilot Club of Suffolk. She was the first woman to serve as chairman of the Suffolk Red Cross Board and also served on the Riddick’s Folly Board and the Suffolk Tomorrow Committee. She was also a Suffolk Red Hatter.

For a total of twenty-five years, Sarah Leigh served as secretary at Holland High School, Forest Glen High School, and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. After retiring, she served as an Administrative Assistant in the General Assembly in Richmond for twenty-two  years, serving under Senators Nolen, McFarland, Miller, Schewel, and Lambert, as well as Commonwealth of Virginia Senate Clerk Susan Schaar.

Community involvement was important to Sarah Leigh. One of her favorite activities was the  chaperone for the Peanut Festival Queen and Court for ten years where she was known as “Miss Manners”. Before coming to Holland, Sarah Leigh was the Choir Director and organist for Whaleyville Methodist Church. As a member of Holy Neck Christian Church, she served as the organist and choir director.  She also  was a member of the Women’s Fellowship, Youth Fellowship Director, Music Committee member, Conference Parliamentarian, and Ladies Sunday School Class teacher.

Clothes and fashion were also important to Sarah Leigh. She worked for Denison’s Dress Shop in Suffolk, Ann”s Dress Shop in Waverly and moderated many fashion shows. In 1954, she was selected as one of the ten best dressed women in Suffolk.

The family extends its deepest appreciation to her caregivers, Janet, Rhonda, Mary Ann, Carolyn and Marie.  Heartland Hospice, particularly Rina, prepared all of us for this day.  As much as she loved them, in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Children’s Center (

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 17, 2019 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at R. W. Baker & Company Funeral Home and Crematory.  A funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 am on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at Holy Neck Christian Church, 4400 Holy Neck Road, Suffolk.  Condolences and memories may be shared at

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R.W. Baker & Company Funeral Home
509 W Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434
United States

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Holy Neck Christian Church
4400 Holy Neck Road
Suffolk , VA 23437
United States


She was a special lady for all of Holland.

Nancy Carr Greene

Sarah Leigh was well-known in the community and church for her kind deeds. FGHS graduates have fond memories of her at school. She gave much to the Holland Community and wanted everyone to be involved in giving back. She will be missed...

Roseland Worrell

I have fond memories of Sarah Leigh at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and in the Suffolk Community. She had a beautiful smile and a positive outlook! Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of this remarkable lady!

Brenda Kincaid

Sarah Leigh was a special lady. I was in the IAAP Southside Chapter with her. She taught our group all about etiquette. She was a warm and loving lady and always smiling. You will be missed.

Renee Brown

Enjoyed being in the Pilot Club of Suffolk for many years. She will be missed by her family and friends. Jean R. Perry


What a wonderful lady! We looked to her for help and guidance when she was at Holland High School with us! She was our special angel!

Patsy Vann

My condolences to your family. May the hope expressed at Job 14:13-15 give you some comfort for your great loss.

Jon Genier

Sara Leigh was on of the most efficient and sought after assistants in the Senate of Virginia. My constituents just loved her and I think many of the lobbyists just made appointments with me so they could see and talk with Sara Leigh. She was very loyal and observant which was a big help in my contested elections. She had the perseverance of a donkey and the memory of an elephant and was the envoy of all regardless of party. I will continue to miss her just as I have since leaving the Senate almost 25 years ago.

Sen Frank W Nolen

Dear Russell and Carla, so sad to hear of Sarah Leigh's passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you. She had such a rich and exciting life. I always loved seeing and talking with her. She will be sadly missed. Love, Mary Edna

Mary Edna Boyce

Sarah Leigh was a part of my life since I was born. She was always one of my favorite relatives while I was growing up and she seemed so much more than a "cousin". I so looked forward to any time I would get to spend with Sarah Leigh, James, Russell, Carla, and Vicky. My favorite feature of Sarah Leigh was her undimmable smile and positivity. This wonderful lady will be tremendously missed by so many.
Love, Wanda

Wanda Baugham Males

What a remarkable Lady ! Her contributions to her Community, Her City, Her State will
long be remembered by all of us who's lives she touched and influenced. Our family
has been truly blessed to have known her as a friend and neighbor. May God bless
her family as they mourn her loss and celebrate her life.

Oscar and Margaret Fowler

I remember Mrs. Jones as the secretary at Forest Glen High School. She was not only beautiful but a very caring person. So sorry for your loss.

Claudia Zuniga Peele

Sarah Leigh was one of a kind and will be missed by everyone who knew her. She was funny and kind and a treasure to talk to. My sincere condolences to Carla and Russell and the community of Holland.

Mary-William Baines

Our love and sympathy goes out to Russell and Carla and all the family as we mourn the loss of your dear mother. An inspiration to all who knew her, she was a remarkable lady with so many talents. A wonderful friend to my dear mother, they did so much together. We are certain they are both rejoicing in heaven together at this very moment. Our prayers are with you as you celebrate her life on Monday. Please know that you are in our thoughts. Hold fast to your memories of her and a life lived so fully .

Johnny and Joan Fowler Minter, Port Charlotte, Florida

Dear Russell, Carla, and Family,
On behalf of the City of Suffolk Treasurer's Office, I want to extend to you our sincerest sympathy on the loss of your Mother, Sarah Leigh. She was amazing and beautiful woman, inside and out. She will be greatly missed by all that knew her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Ronald H. Williams, City Treasurer and Office Staff

Ronald H. Williams

Russell and Charlene, I have just watched the video of your mother's life. What a special tribute. She lived a wonderful life and I pray the memories of your life with her will bring you peace and comfort in the days ahead. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


Carla and Russell, What a wonderful woman your mother was! Though I have known her all my life, she truly touched my heart and lifted my spirits during the last years of Mama’s life, when I spent more time in Holland than I had for a long time! Through the years they shared many special times together, but especially so during the those last ones when as widows they worked together and lived close to each other in Holland. Mama often told me about some of their adventures, like sharing “how to” make simple house and car repairs. They were quit the “Mrs. fix-it’s”! She told me about how they laughed and cried together sharing life’s ups and downs. Sarah Leigh will always hold a special place in my heart! God bless you both and the rest of the family as you mourn the loss and celebrate the life of this amazing woman, who touched so many of us with hers. I will miss our calls! With much love, Trudy

Trudy Fowler Smith

Sarah Leigh was one very special lady and a wonderful Pilot sister. I will treasure the memories of her tales about
her time in Richmond, her beautiful smile and her fabulous outfits. She had a sense of style and lovely southern charm. The laughter and fun we had would bring tears to our eyes. We teased her so about having the best darn coffee cake in the grocery freezer! RIP in peace Sara Leigh. You were an shining example of what Pilot is all about - friendship and service.

Pat Haden

Carla and Russell,
My prayers and love are with you at this time. Yall had a wonderful mother she always dressed so nicely and wore her beautiful hats. She was very active and done so many things for the community. She will be missed dearly.

Patty Freeman

Condolences to family of Ms Sarah Jones
(Revelation 21:4) " And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes ,
and death will be no more neither will mourning nor outcry nor
pain be anymore The former things have passed away "
therefore all the things that causes pain and suffering will be eliminated
forever " ….


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