With the fresh blooms of Spring in the air; an amazing journey began in April of 1925 bringing a beautiful bouquet of life to Robert and Mary Jones, and her two doting brothers, Robert and Lonnie. This budding beauty adorned with the name Evelyn brought joy to her family from the beginning and was the radiant rose in their family conservatory.
Evelyn’s journey led her to blossom at First Baptist Church Pratt City with her family, relatives and many friends, where she was also baptized. As Evelyn grew, her abundant bouquet bloomed among friends in the Birmingham City School System and matriculating at Pratt City Elementary and Parker High Schools. As she continued on her journey growing more beautiful buds, she met and married the love of her life Eugene “Big Twelve” Thomas. While cultivating this union, the happy couple nurtured six amazing roses: Maria, Eugene Jr, James, Charles, Theresa and Michael—Evelyn’s greatest joy, her family garden. Now united on their journey and growing strongly together; her husband, Eugene Sr. was a devout Christian and immediately brought Evelyn to join him at New Bethel Baptist Church. In the Winter of 1958 they united with 45th Street Baptist Church where they both served in many capacities tirelessly. Completely dedicated to Christ and working at 45th Street Baptist, Eugene Sr. was the Chairman of the Deacons Board and they together worked diligently for the church in their over 50 years of loving marriage. A steadfast fixture at 4-5 Baptist, Evelyn was exceptionally proud of her role as Chairperson of the Deacon’s Wives. Always a diligent server in the House of the Lord, she sang in the choir for over 60 years and taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School every year. Spreading fragrant flowers in various activities, Evelyn served as PTA President at Shields, Carver and Hayes High School Band Boosters, as well as many other official and ‘unofficial’ roles at these schools and the East Birmingham Community. An eager helpmate to her husband who was the East Birmingham Community President, Evelyn toiled constantly to help her husband’s endeavors. Always willing to share a motherly hand, at the ripe age of 70; Evelyn dedicated her parenting skills to the Woodlawn High School Young Mother’s Program where she cultivated a whole new crop of loving individuals who like her beloved grandchildren, also call this special flower “Granny.”
Amazingly, Evelyn cultivated all six roses while earning numerous Christian and professional licenses and certificates. Although this beautiful journey had both roses and thorns, Evelyn remained steadfast in her faith and continued to share her bountiful bouquet with everyone she met. As a spectacular mother, Evelyn’s maternal talents embraced her children’s friends, their spouses, church members and all around the community. Truly an extraordinary and eye-catching floral arrangement, Evelyn was a true fashionista that loved style, especially hats and ensembles in pink. Her gentle touch, nurturing spirit and strong motherly standards are evident in anyone who felt her embrace, witnessed her passion or inhaled the fragrant scent of her essence…the delightful bouquet known as simply Evelyn. Although Evelyn is no longer here with us today, she has planted strong vines that will continue her amazing journey as her legacy continues to bloom forever.