Velner (Sowers) Jones

December 3, 1924 ~ November 9, 2021 (age 96)


Mrs. Velner Sowers Jones, age 96, of Sanford, NC, passed away Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at Parkview Retirement Center.

She was born in Danville, VA on December 3, 1924 to the late Frank Sowers and Alice Lewis Sowers.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Robert D. Jones; brother Roy Sowers and sisters Dorothy Setliff and Virginia Farmer.  Velner is survived by her sister Phyllis Pruitt of Danville, VA and numerous nephews and nieces.

She was a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and was retired from the Lee County School System after 20 plus years as a Science Teacher for Lee County Senior High School.  During this time, she earned her Master’s Degree in science from UNC-Chapel Hill on a National Science Foundation Scholarship.  Velner proudly displayed a Scroll of Commendation from the American Chemical Society for service in teaching chemistry in North Carolina.  Velner was a member of the Retired School Personnel and their Scholarship Chairman.

Velner was active in the community and church life of Sanford.  She had been President of Presbyterian Women and was awarded their highest award – Life Membership from Presbyterian Women.  Through her membership with First Presbyterian Church of Sanford, she was past Treasurer of the Women of the Church, Bible Moderator of her women’s circle, Sunday School Teacher, member of the Sanctuary Choir and Circle Chairperson.  Community minded her whole life – Velner served on the Social Service Board of Lee County for 8 years, Board of Trustees and Foundation Board for 16 years at Central Carolina Community College. 

Politically, she found her way into all activities of the Lee County Democrats, worked long and hard in the political trenches of her party for many, many years.  She was Treasurer of the party and an original member of Democratic Women of Lee County, serving as Past President, Treasurer and Secretary at various times.  Velner was a Senior Tar Heel Legislature Delegate in 1993-1994.

Funeral service honoring Velner’s life will be held in the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church of Sanford on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 2:00 PM with Pastor Brad Simpson officiating.  Burial will follow at Buffalo Cemetery.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the colonnade of the church, Thursday, November 11th from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to First Presbyterian Church, 203 Hawkins Ave., Sanford, NC 27330 or the Robert D. Jones Scholarship Endowment with Central Carolina Community College, 1105 Kelly Drive, Sanford, NC 27330.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Velner, please visit our floral store.


November 11, 2021

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church of Sanford (Buffalo Cemetery)

Funeral Service
November 11, 2021

2:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church of Sanford (Buffalo Cemetery)


Buffalo Cemetery
1333 Carthage Street
Sanford, NC 27330

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