Services for former county manager Harry Jones scheduled for Mon - | WBTV Charlotte

Services for former county manager Harry Jones scheduled for Monday

Former Mecklenburg County manager Harry Jones instilled in his staff a mission of public service, former colleagues said. (Robert Lahser | The Charlotte Observer) Former Mecklenburg County manager Harry Jones instilled in his staff a mission of public service, former colleagues said. (Robert Lahser | The Charlotte Observer)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Mecklenburg County's first African American county manager fought for his life with a well-defined sense of proud dignity.

Harry Jones used his health challenge to inspire others. During his battle against pancreatic cancer, powerful words resonated through the sanctuary at Memorial Presbyterian Church.

"So why not focus on living and in making every day the very best day possible?” he asked in October of 2015. "I decided to live with courage, faith, and hope."

His written words detailed a personal journey through a self-published book called "How Cancer Cured My Soul."

“I step out on faith and not on fear," Jones said in a conversation with WBTV not long after his diagnosis of the condition that would take his life. "Pancreatic cancer has some morbid statistics associated with it."

Weeks before, he had been ousted by a majority of the commissioners he served under after going public with his condition.

Rather than harbor bitterness, Jones channeled his energy into community outreach at Little Rock AME Zion.

"If you spend your life helping other people, then it's so refreshing to your soul," he said.

Understanding Harry meant admiring his devotion to his wife Becky and their family.

Last month, a celebration of family and friends at the Ballantyne Resort brought together people who would know him best. Back in November, he would promote awareness of the disease that took his life.

Jones reflected that night by saying, "There's no cure for it, but it taught me how to live how to love and how to express myself in a better way."

The next month he would be back and recognized with the county's highest honor, the Order of the Hornet.

On December 20, he told commission and audience members, "I'm a lot frailer than I was when I left three years ago, but guess what ladies and gentlemen - I’m stronger than I've ever been."

The family has scheduled a memorial service for Jones on Monday at 11 a.m. at Little Rock AME Zion Church. Visitation for family and friends starts at 10 a.m.

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