Essex County Freeholder Lebby Jones has Died

Following a brave battle with cancer, Essex County Freeholder Lebby Jones of Irvington has died.

She was 75.

“I am saddened by the passing of Lebby Jones,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. “As a Freeholder, Councilwoman and educator, she had a lifelong legacy of public service and was truly dedicated to improving the quality of life for her constituents. With the late Bilal Beasley, Lebby helped lay the groundwork for the current revival in Irvington and served as a mentor for our next generation of leaders. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Elected to her first term as a Freeholder At-Large in November of 2014 and re-elected in November 2017, Ms. Jones served on the Irvington Municipal Council from 1994 through June of 2014, both as the South Ward and then At-Large Councilwoman.

She served on the Irvington Board of Education as the Board’s President from 1993 to 1994. Additionally, she was a part of the following organizations: the Irvington Branch of the NAACP as a member and its President; President of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Committee of Irvington; the Laventhal Avenue Block Association; and Irvington Chapter of the National Action Network.

Freeholder Jones enjoyed a 33-year career as an educator working as both a teacher and guidance counselor in Newark Public Schools. She is a former member of the American and Essex County Guidance Associations, and she served as a Shop Steward for the Newark Teachers’ Union.

Freeholder Jones has been the recipient of numerous awards, honors and recognitions over the years, including: from Governor James McGreevey and Mayor Wayne Smith; Irvington Small Fry Community Service Award; Irvington High School Peer Leadership Program; Women’s History Month Community Service Award; Political Action Committee of Orange, East Orange, and Irvington Community Service Award; Determined to Achieve Parent Network for Community Service Award; lifetime membership with the NAACP; Newark Board of Education Service Awards; D. Bilal Beasley Civic Association Community Service Award; and the Mt. Moriah A.M.E. Church Service Award, among many others.

Ms. Jones received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies from Claflin University in South Carolina, a Master of Arts degree from the School of Counseling and Social Work from Kean University, and graduate credits above the Master’s degree level in the field of Education. She was also certified in Elementary Education. Freeholder Jones is an active member of Franklin Saint John United Methodist Church of Newark.

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