BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — He was a civil rights activist and Louisiana’s oldest World War II veteran, a father, and a pioneer in the Baton Rouge community. Johnnie A. Jones Sr. was laid to rest on Monday.

Jones died on April 23rd at 102 years old. Among his many accomplishments, he was the first Black Army Soldier qualify as a Warrant Officer and was in the first graduating class from the Southern University Law Center.

SULC Chancellor John Pierre said it’s because of Jones’ bravery we are able to do the things that we do.

“The things you do today that you don’t think of as even being a big deal is because of the courage and comradery of Johnnie A. Jones,” said Pierre.

Last year, Jones was awarded a Purple Heart for when he was wounded during the D-Day Invasion of Normandy.

“Pappy or Papa, whatever you called him, he gave up the Purple Heart for the heart of God,” said Patricia Gail Wood, a relative of Jones.

Jones was also a Christian and a family man. His family remembered him Monday for his boldness. They said Baton Rouge can look to his legacy to find the right path.

“He is a man who didn’t take the easy way out, he took the right way. So, I say to my family, friends and constituents, let’s just do things the way he did it — the right way,” said Wood.

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