Joyce Jones applied for and got a job at Jordan’s Jewelry in 1952.
She stayed for the next 68 years.
Jones, 87, passed away Friday following a month-long battle with COVID-19, as the virus proved to be one of the few things that could get her away from the store. The employee-turned-owner built a reputation based around fairness and going above and beyond for her patrons.
“[Joyce] was very outgoing and friendly,” Virginia Beasley, 90, said of her younger sister. “Her customers were always her top priority, seeing they were satisfied. She just put her whole self into the store. People would ask her when she was going to retire and she would always say ‘not until I have to.’ That became a reality last Friday night.”
Jones graduated from Plain View High School and went to work for Dr. Robert Jordan, whose father opened Jordan’s Jewelry 132 years ago. Jones turned the job into a career, spending the next two decades helping couples pick out china, wedding bands, crystal and more. She prided herself on customer service and quality above all else.
“She had a good product and she stood behind her jewelry and other things she would sell,” said Beasley. “She was honest and a hard worker and she would go out of her way to help people who needed help. We are the oldest jewelry store in the state so we must have been doing something right.”
John W. Jordan Sr. opened Jordan’s Jewelry, then called JW Jordan’s Sons, in 1888. It is the oldest business still operating in Dunn.
Jones and her husband, Hurley, purchased the store in 1975 and elected to keep the name the same of Jordan’s Jewelry.
Joyce Jones continued the traditions of the store, but added her own special touches with expert hand engraving, according to Robert Jordan, John W. Jordan Sr.’s great-grandson.
Beasley ended up joining her sister at the store where she would spend the ensuing 26 years.
“Two ladies passed away before I came here,” Beasley said. “That’s when I came because she didn’t know who else she could call upon. She knew that I was honest and would help her. I’ve been here ever since. We were always close sisters. I’ll miss working with her and she stayed right across the road, so we could stand there and talk if we raised our voice a little.”
Jones, who also suffered from a pre-existing lung condition, checked into Betsy Johnson Hospital on Nov. 1 and spent the next month fighting COVID-19. Beasley ended up contracting the virus as well, but has since recovered.
“This is a cruel disease,” said Beasley. “She struggled the whole time she was in there. If you get it, it will make a believer out of you. I had what I consider a mild case compared to her. You feel tired and you don’t have any energy. Nothing tastes right, not even water. My head felt like it was as big as a tub and my legs felt like rubber. I was sick for a couple of weeks.”
Jones never had any children, but didn’t mind sharing her sister’s. Beasley said she doesn’t know what the future holds for Jordan’s Jewelry, but she isn’t ready to retire just yet and her daughter Jennifer worked in the store years ago.
“A lot of times when you retire it’s not long before you’re pushing up daisies,” Beasley said. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
-Dunn Daily Record