Albert Vincent Jones, 91, former principal of the award-winning Hopkins Junior High School in Fremont, California died on May 23 at his home in Bethel Island. Albert was a former Christian Brother, educated at St. Monica's in San Francisco, Mont La Salle in Napa and Saint Mary's College in Moraga.He and his first wife, Clara Lorenzana (deceased), raised five children, Tim Jones and Clare Churchill of Quincy (husband Denny), Steve Jones of Chico (deceased), Andrea O'Rourke of Hailey, Idaho, and Jon Jones (wife Allison) of Lafayette. All of his children had been with him in the days before his death. Albert was married to Sharon Belshaw for 29 years. Sharon was the former Superintendent of Fremont Unified School District. Sharon is a member of the Board of Directors of Fremont Bank where Albert was a member of the Fremont Bank Foundation's Advisory Board, the group charged with charitable giving.Al's passions were keeping his large family connected and supporting each other, researching his family history, supporting his friends and family to play and celebrate a much as possible, cheering for his beloved 49ers and Giants, and supporting his church, charities, and keeping in touch through Facebook, e-mail, phone calls and personal visits with everyone at his homes in the Delta, desert, Graeagle, and Idaho.After a distinguished career in education which included earning two Masters Degrees and teaching and counseling in Fremont, Modesto, San Francisco, Union City, Fremont and Sacramento, and administrative responsibilities as Vice-Principal of Sacred Heart High School, Activity Director at Irvington High, Albert was selected as the vice-principal and then principal at Hopkins Junior High where he spent 17 years of his career. In 1982, Albert was named Fremont Unified School District's Administrator of the Year.After retirement from Fremont Unified, Al founded and led the award-winning program, 'Seniors in Schools', which brought senior citizens into classrooms to serve as tutors. He devoted time to his favorite charity, the LEO Center, a tutoring center in Oakland which provides after school help to children in need. Always grateful for his time in the Christian Brothers, Al was one of the early planners of reunions of former Brothers. Al wrote a book on the origins of an organization of former Christian Brothers, Les Amis des Freres. Keeping his loving family connected was his passion and he was a master at it. He is survived by his sister, Pauline McConnell, sister-in-law, Emma Jones, wife, Sharon, four children, six grandchildren, Anna Abdo, Derek Jones, Angie Pooler, Tyler Jones, Jeremy Stephenson, and Jason Nelson, and five great grand children, countless nieces, nephews, and great and grand nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements are private but friends and family will gather for a public Rosary and brief memorial at Berge, Pappas, Smith Chapel of the Angels on Friday, June 27 at 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Al's honor to the LEO Center, PO Box 3228, Oakland, California or Vitas Hospice Suite #140 Lennon Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.

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  1. My condolences to all of Al’s family especially to Sharon. Al’s smiling picture captures his upbeat optimistic spirit. Al loved stories and he also loved a joke. He was a faithful, hard working Christian Brother and in later years supported the organization of former Brotherrs, Les Amis des Freres. A fine public school educator in the classroom, counselor and administrator, he handled the full range of serving students. Al’s picture with that welcoming smile says it all. Rest in peace, good and faithful servent, rest in peace.

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  2. We gave had the honor to call Al our good friend and neighbor for the past 12 years. He was truly a pleasure to be around. We will miss him dearly. We want to express our sorrow to Sharon and all of Al’s family. We will miss our wonderful dinners with them at our winter home in Indio and especially our Tuesday nights out at IHOP. Rest in peace, Al.

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  3. All too seldom in life do we come across someone who we can truly say made a solid impact on the direction our lives travel. For me, that person was Albert Jones. When I think back on the many reasons why I always loved Mr Jones, first and foremost is because he was a man who knew how to live life to the fullest. He was kind and compassionate. He always had a smile on his face and a kind thing to say about everyone he crossed paths with. He had absorbed so much from his life experiences and was constantly bestowing those riches on those fortunate enough to be graced by his presence. When he was passionate about something, he found a way to engage those around them and make them immediately feel its importance.

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

    -Matthew 7:13-14

    When I was a teenager I remember having a powerful conversation with Mr Jones about this very passage from Matthew. We were discussing colleges and my hopes for the future. And we were discussing the stigma behind going into the field of education, how it is referred to by many as a thankless profession. He encouraged me to look at the whole picture of what I wanted for my life. He challenged me to define what happiness and success looked like to me and told me to follow my heart. He reminded me that when you are an educator that a piece of you goes forth with each of your words and your actions The excitement he always had in his voice when he discussed the value of the Christian Brother education at Saint Mary’s College encouraged me to study there with no hesitation. Even at a very early age I clearly understood that Albert Jones, he was a man who knew how to live. He put his love and caring and passion into every teachable moment. Every conversation I had with him left me wanting more. His reflections on his many successful years in the education field made me confident that I had chosen the right path.

    Albert Jones was a trailblazer who knew how to take the path less taken. And it made all the difference, not only in his own life but in the lives of the countless men and women who were blessed to call him friends and family. Perhaps the best way to help fill the large void that his absence leaves in this world is to remember that a piece of him lives on in the hearts and minds of so many like myself. In the words of Ernest Hemingway: “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” Rest in Peace Mister Jones. You may be gone but you will never ever be forgotten. Love Always, Eileen

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  4. Al, your courage and fortitude have been an inspiration to all you left behind. Our prayers are with you, Sharon, and your family. Have a quiet heart and a sweet dream ’til we meet again.

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  5. Rest in peace dear friend. Thank you for all the wonderful memories! You will remain forever in our hearts!

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  6. Miss you already Mr. Jones. I am sure you will be having many lively discussion with my Marvin. You will be in my memories and my heart forever.

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  7. ‘Mr J,’ we will so miss your giddy gregarious grin- that smirk of a smile and the timeless twinkle in your expressive eyes….
    Much love to you, Sharon all your family & friends who feel the great pain of your loss and now strive to become better people after having you in their lives.
    We will try and keep this in mind as we go forward without you:
    “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always”

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  8. Thank you for having been the wonderful vice principal to my daughter at Hopkins (so many years ago !) I am so sorry for your loss, Sharon. You will be in my thoughts and heart.

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  9. Mr Jones. you were an awesome principal at Hopkins Jr High. You had a lot of faith in me when others didnt. So sorry to see you gone. I am a success in a lot of things because of you.
    God Bless you and your Family. RIP

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