Obituary for Emma Jo Jones Ploeger

Obituary for Emma Jo Jones Ploeger



Emma Jo Jones Ploeger passed away peacefully at her residence on Friday, August 26, 2022. This may interest you : How to become an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Edwin M. “Buddy” Cooper, Jr. officiating. A private family burial will be held Wednesday at Historic Riverside Cemetery in Macon, Georgia with Rev. Jimmy Asbell officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to services at St. Paul United Methodist Church according to McMullen Funeral Home and Crematory 3874 Gentian Blvd. Columbus, Ga. 31907.

Emma Jo Jones Ploeger was born 80 years ago in San Antonio, Texas. She was the daughter of Wallace Glenn Jones of Fayetteville, GA and Mary Helen Steed Jones of Fairburn. GA. respectively. Emma Jo lived the first 13 years of her life in Texas where her father was a civil engineer with the Government Corps of Engineers. In 1955, she returned to her Georgia heritage by moving to Macon, Georgia. As a high school student A.L. Miller for girls, Emma Jo was vice president of the student council, first president of the Bibb County Boarding School Student Councils, cheerleader for the Lanier Poets, homecoming queen, and voted class favorite her senior year. .

As a freshman at Wesleyan College in Macon, she was chosen as a cheerleader, a member of the home court and voted Best Dressed Coed for the September 1961 issue of Mademoiselle Magazine. Emma Jo was a fashion model in her high school years and was selected by Seventeen Magazine to appear in the September 1960 issue where she posed for pictures at The Varsity Restaurant in Atlanta.

Emma Jo transferred to the University of Georgia in the fall of 1961. She pledged Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and was voted Miss Modern Venus by Sigma Chi Fraternity. She accumulated scholastic honors (Mortar Board) from Sigma Chi by being chosen Homecoming Queen of 1962, Pandora Court, Miss March of Dimes, Miss Athens, first runner-up for Miss Georgia and National Peach Queen of 1962.

Upon marrying Bill Ploeger of Darien, Georgia she moved to Columbus, Georgia where Bill began a career in insurance with the Jordan Company and Emma Jo continued her service to others. Emma Jo started as a teacher at the Girls Club and within a few years became President of the Board of Directors of the Girls Club. In 1968, Emma Jo received the Distinguished Service Award from Girls Club International.

In 1971, Emma Jo was awarded/recognized as one of America’s Outstanding Women for her many volunteer efforts. She was one of 50 recipients across America.

Emma Jo’s service to her community included… 25 years of membership as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Francis Hospital, vice-chairman and secretary of the Columbus Hospital Authority, founding member of the board of the St. Francis Hospital Foundation, Columbus State College Schwob Department of Music Patrons of Music founding board member, Boy Scouts of America executive board, Chamber of Commerce Medical Affairs Board, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Springer Theater Company, and Historic Columbus Foundation Board of Trustees.

As a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Emma Jo has served on the executive board in various capacities. She taught Sunday school and vacation bible school. She organized the first Easter Egg Hunt in 1968 which has remained to this day as a major fundraiser for the United Methodist Women of St. Paul.

Emma Jo entered the business world as fashion director at the Kirven Department Store from 1975-1977. In 1977, she pioneered the concept of corporate real estate relocation for Dan Parker Reality Company and remained in that field until 2000.

She enjoyed her membership in the Columbus Junior League, Sprig and Dig Garden Club, Green Island Country Club, Big Eddy Club, Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Columbus Historic Foundation, Columbus Museum of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia Alumni Foundation, Wesleyan College Foundation, Columbus Symphony Guild, Summit Charter School Foundation of Cashiers, N.C., High Hampton Country Club of Cashiers, N.C. where she had a home, Diamiano Center of Duluth, MN, and the Girl’s Club of Columbus where she received the International Girls Distinguished Service Award.

Emma Jo is survived by her daughter Allison Ploeger Young (Richard) of Macon, GA,  her grandsons, William Whitaker Young, Atlanta, GA, and Thomas Steed Young, Nashville, TN. She will be fondly remembered for her generous spirit, big heart, fun-loving nature, and fierce devotion to friends and family. She was loved and will be missed.

Donations can be made to Girls Inc. 3535 Levy Road Columbus, GA 31903, St. Paul United Methodist Church 2101 Wildwood Ave Columbus, GA 31906, or Antioch United Methodist 7650 Rivertown Rd. Fairburn, GA 30213.

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