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Charlie Jones dies
Tender side of tough attorney recalled
Charlie Jones
Charlies M. Jones 1930-2007
One of Liberty County’s most distinguished citizens, Charles M. Jones, 76, died Wednesday at Hospice of Savannah.
Well known as the senior partner and founder of the prominent law firm of Jones, Osteen and Jones, he had an active political career from 1960 to 1970 when he served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Jones served on the powerful appropriations committee, and was majority whip from 1967 to 1970.
During his legislative career, Jones incorporated Allenhurst. Jones retired from elective politics after an unsuccessful bid for the lieutenant governorship.
Along with an active professional career as a trial lawyer, he served as city attorney for Hinesville, county attorney for Liberty County and Liberty County School Board attorney.
Partner Billy Jones said, “Charlie was one of the finest trial lawyers in the United States, he was extraordinarily gifted. (Billy Jones himself, no relation, is a renowned trial lawyer.)
“Charlie was also tender-hearted, something he did not show to the rest of the world. He helped a lot of people in a quiet way that did not become known.”
J. Noel Osteen, one of the firm’s partners, related the story of how he came to be associated with Jones. “I had just gotten out of the army and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to practice law.”
“My grandfather knew an uncle of Charlie’s in Hinesville and he said I ought go down and meet him. My grandfather was a father figure to me, because my father had died early.
“So I met with Charlie Jones in late 1967, he offered me a job and I started there in February of 1968. Charlie Jones was a man of his word, and in the almost 40 years we worked together there was never any contract or anything in writing between us.
“He was a great man and his death is a great loss to our community.”
Jones is considered the father of the Liberty County Development Authority, having authored the 1964 act of the General Assembly which established the authority’s purpose, powers, membership and other matters. He served on the LCDA board for many years.
The Band of Credit and Commerce International scandal brought attention to Jones’ name when he was mentioned as a go-between for BCCI and political figures.
A key figure in the BCCI matter, Ghaith Pharaon, is known for purchasing, and in 1998 selling, the former Ford Plantation in Richmond Hill.  
The federal government and New York state indicted Pharaon in 1991 in connection with the collapse of the BCCI, when nearly $12 billion of its $20 billion in assets reportedly disappeared.
Jones was a lawyer in Hinesville and Savannah for 46 years until his retirement in 2005. He was a native and lifelong resident of Liberty County and was born in Riceboro in 1930. He was educated in the public schools and attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, S. C. He joined the U.S. Army in 1951, graduating second in his class at officer candidate school. He volunteered for service in Korea and served as a platoon leader until the end of the war in 1953.
Upon his return to Georgia after Korea, Jones enrolled at the University of Georgia where he received a degree in business administration, passed the Georgia bar exam prior to graduating from law school, received his law degree in 1958, was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1959, and returned to Liberty County to begin his legal practice.
Jones served on the board of The Coastal Bank for 25 years and was its chairman from 1996 until his retirement in 2004. He was a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Hinesville, a selectman of the Midway Church and Society since 1966, and a member of the Eleventh Circuit Historical Society. Professional memberships include the American Bar Association, Atlantic Judicial Circuit Bar Association, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, and Jones was listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 1991 to 2004.
Survivors include are his wife of 49 years, Carole Lilly Jones; daughter Maury Jones Davis, son-in-law Allen Davis, grandchildren Mitch and Katie Davis, step grandchildren Cal and Nick Davis, and niece Dean Brown Sikes.
Jones was preceded in death by his father, Maury Bancroft Jones; mother, Catherine Dean Jones; two sisters, Catherine Jones Brown and Billie Jones Wasson, and son Charles Jay Jones.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the historic Midway Church. The family will receive friends and family on the grounds after the service.
Remembrances can be sent to Hospice Savannah, Inc., P.O. Box 13190, Savannah, GA 31416-0190, HYPERLINK “” The family expresses heartfelt thanks to its extended family at Hospice House.

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