Vernon Leon Jones

May 03, 1935 - February 05, 2024

Vernon Leon Jones

May 03, 1935 - February 05, 2024


Vernon Leon Jones, 88, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, left this earthly plane to be with his late partner Phil Wiley, on February 5th, 2024.

He was born in Oklahoma, on May 3rd, 1935. As a gay man, born and raised here, Vernon’s chosen family is vast. He is survived by Hayward Jones, Nekesha Jones, JaKobe Jones, Sue Davis, Fred Hilliard, Arlowe Clementine, Mason Thomas, Rey Thomas, and so many other individuals that claimed Vernon as their friend, family, and elder.

Vernon was an active learner, even in his later years. He was always working to understand the world around him and was eternally hopeful for a better world. He was a strong advocate for marginalized peoples and was particularly committed to Queer and Black Liberation.

Vernon was a clear Taurus. He was intelligent, dependable, logical, honest, and generous. Vernon spent most of his life focused on making his community better. He was a holder of receipts. A maker of spreadsheets. A true community historian and archivist.

Vernon was dedicated to making people safer, both in his career in emergency management and his activist work in the fight against AIDS. He was not a stranger to controversy and was unrelenting in speaking his truth and the truth of the people he loved.

In the years before his death, Vernon worked hard to ensure that the legacy of LGBTQ activism in Tulsa was properly recorded and preserved for current and future generations. His substantial archive is now housed in Oklahoma State University’s Archives. This collection will be witnessed by researchers and community members for years to come.

Vernon was a connector. He worked hard to bring people together and was always willing to give someone support that needed it. Even in his death, he is connecting individuals over their shared love and respect for him and his life.

Vernon fought hard for his community and the legacy of his late partner Phil Wiley. Anyone who knew Vernon was graced with stories of Phil’s life and legacy as well as their love for one another.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you remember Vernon by learning something new, taking a stand on social issues that are important to you, and keeping his life and legacy alive through storytelling.

Vernon’s memorial service will take place March 1st at 11 AM at Butler-Stumpff & Dyer Funeral Home (2103 E 3rd St, Tulsa, OK 74104).

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: March 1, 2024 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: Butler-Stumpff & Dyer Funeral Home & Crematory
  • Location: 2103 E 3rd St Tulsa, OK 74104 - (Get Directions)

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