Cover photo for Kenley Jones's Obituary
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1935 Kenley 2023

Kenley Jones

February 24, 1935 — March 21, 2023

J. Kenley Jones, 88, died March 21, 2023, at Piedmont Hospital Atlanta. The husband of Margaret McPherson Jones, he was the son of the late J. Clyde and Mildred S. Jones of Greenville, S.C.


Born in Greenville, Jones graduated from Greenville H.S. and earned a B.S. in Speech from Northwestern University. He served three years as a naval officer in the Pacific before completing an M.S. in Journalism at Northwestern in 1963.


Beginning his career at a TV station in Des Moines, Iowa, he was one of eight newsmen selected for a CBS fellowship at Columbia University in 1964. Here he met his future wife, Margaret.


He joined WSB-TV, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, where he worked for four years as a general-assignment reporter. He covered a variety of news including racial conflicts and politics. In 1968, he won the Georgia School Bell Award for his stories on education in Georgia.


NBC News tapped Jones to cover the Vietnam war in 1969. Based in Saigon for his first assignment, Jones's battlefront reports won him the 1970 Overseas Press Club award for best TV reporting from abroad. After a year's tour of duty in Vietnam, he began a roving Asian assignment, using Singapore as a base where his family joined him for two years. In addition to Vietnam, he reported stories from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, Pakistan, and Japan for NBC Nightly News.


In 1972, Jones opened the first NBC News Bureau in Atlanta. From this base, he spent more than 25 years covering not only the Southeast, but also national stories and occasional foreign assignments. Highlights include the Jimmy Carter Campaign for President, coverage of Ronald Reagan, Jesse Jackson, the Atlanta Child Murders, and a variety of sports, weather, human-interest stories. Assignments took him to Argentina, Israel, Nicaragua, and Syria among others.


In his free time, he enjoyed being at Lake Hartwell with his family, finding good barbecue restaurants, and traveling world-wide with Margaret.


Preceded in death by his sister Rebecca Roberts and brothers David and Robert Jones, he is survived by a brother Michael Keith, daughters Stephanie L. Jones and Eleanor J. Remigailo (Richard), son, Jason K. Jones (Natalie) and grandchildren Annalise, Richard, and David Remigailo, Suzanne and Margaret Anne Jones.


A memorial service will be held at Shallowford Presbyterian Church, Atlanta on Monday, April 17, at 11 A.M.


Memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army, Miracle Hill Ministries, or Shallowford Presbyterian Church.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenley Jones, please visit our flower store.

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