Vera Ann Robinson Jones Bowens, affectionately known as “Bay” of Hartford, CT departed this earthly life on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at the age of 79. She was born in Hartford, CT to the late Vera Mae (Oliver) Robinson and the late Allen Robinson, Sr., who were born in Americus, GA. When she was well enough, she attended Victory Temple (formerly Welcome Baptist) of Hartford, CT. She believed in paying her tithes and offerings and would always pay tithes for her children, as well. Vera attended Hartford Public Schools and also attended Computer Processing Institute. She always said to her daughters that “if you can type, you will always be able to get a job.” Vera worked at many different jobs. She worked at Hartford Binary in Hartford. She also worked as a supervisor at a private cleaning company while working full time as a Paraprofessional with Project Concern, now known as Project Choice. She worked at the former Elmwood Elementary School in West Hartford as a Paraprofessional; a Paraprofessional and Study Hall Teacher at King Philip Middle School and Hall High School in West Hartford and then she retired from Bulkeley High School in Hartford on December 24, 1994. Vera was not just a “Para”, she was an “old school” Para – a second mother to so many of her students. She rode the bus as a monitor as well and made sure they didn’t say or do anything to embarrass themselves or her. Education was very important to her. She made sure that her students were proud of whom they were and that they carried themselves with pride and dignity. She even made her daughters walk with a telephone book on their heads from one side of the room to the other. If the telephone book dropped, they had to start over again. She wanted them to hold their heads high and walk proudly. She wanted them to be a lady and also to know how to take care of a house and themselves. Family was very important to her as every adult, child, relative or friend who had attended one of her cookouts can attest to, she made everyone around her feel comfortable and welcome. One year, the radio station WKND broadcasted that there was a “slamming cookout going on at 134 Magnolia Street where everybody was welcomed.” Vera’s generosity was well-known throughout the family and the community. There probably isn’t a sister, brother, child, grandchild or one of her friends that she didn’t help in one way or the other. There were people she really didn’t know and she helped them too. Making people happy and welcomed was a trademark that Vera wore proudly. Vera loved to sing and dance. There often was opera music flowing through the home and she loved to prove that she wasn’t too old to “cut a rug”. Shopping was not a necessity but a major sport for Vera. She loved to shop. Her shopping buddies: Esther and Roz told stories to everyone present of their shopping escapades while they visited her at Hartford Hospital. Vera became the oldest member of S.W.E.E.T. and she gave her input, advice and funny stories like only she could, to the single and married women. She also considered herself an interior designer and she would reupholster furniture and put together fabrics and textures that no one else thought to do. Red was her favorite color and she loved to dress to impress when she went out with friends and family, but especially with her husband. She knew how to save money and she took care of her business and taught others to do the same. Vera loved listening to gospel music, opera music and oldies but goodies. She loved day trips, vacationing down South, going on cruises and lounging and spending money at The Cape. But, most importantly, she loved just being with her family.
Vera leaves to mourn, her husband, Woodrow “Afro” Bowens, Jr., her daughters, Concetta E. Jones Lewis, Victoria Y. Jones, Raenette Bowens, Otissa (Jamaal) Williams and one son, William J. Jones, Jr. She leaves her grandchildren: Dakarai Tau Jones, Shawn C. (Jacqueline) Jones, Kenneth Wesley Lewis, Jr., Jermaine Aaron Lewis, Devon John Henry, Jr., Kevin B. Sumlin, Jr., Shawn McClendon, Keisha Yvette Jones, Felicia Anderson, Raheem Jones, Giovanna Vera Eva “Gigi” Sumlin and Vera Ann Jones of Florida, Tanya Jones Thompson and a few great-grandchildren. She also leaves to mourn her sisters, Ruby (Henry) Brown, Carrie (Gordon) Robinson-Randolph, Deborah (Theodore) Owens,; her brothers, Cleven (Loretta) Robinson of Baltimore and Arthur “Bojack” (Lorie) Robinson of Hartford; as well as many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. Special friends that visited her: Esther, Roz, Sissy and Muriel. She is predeceased by sisters Burda (Chris) Morgan and Mattie Carey of Baltimore, Lucille Robinson of Hartford, Doris Randolph of Bloomfield; her brothers, Allen “Junie” Robinson, James “Brother” Robinson, both of Hartford and Henry “Boo” Robinson of East Hartford; her daughter, Josette D. (Kevin) Sumlin; her sons, Nolan Lewis Jones and Joseph Sidney Jones; her two great-grandchildren, twins, Wesley Lewis III and Keneya Tahjae Lewis, her former son-in-law Kenneth Wesley Lewis, Sr., and former husband, William Jones, Sr.