Rodney Paul-Jones

Rodney Paul-Jones

1969 - 2022

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Obituary of Rodney Paul-Jones

Rodney Paul-Jones of Youngstown, New York died on February 28, 2022, in Manhattan, New York at the age of 52. Rodney was born in Waukegan, Illinois on June 18, 1969, and spent his formative years in Gurnee, Illinois. He fell in love with France when his family hosted Olivier Schuh, an exchange student from Strasbourg. Rodney and Olivier became lifelong friends with Olivier attending classes at Warren Township High School during Rodney’s junior year and Rodney spending the following summer with Olivier’s family in Strasbourg. Midway through his senior year in high school, Rodney’s mother moved to Albuquerque, offering Rodney the chance either to stay in Illinois to finish with his classmates or to move out West with her. Always an adventurer, Rodney went along with his mother, graduating from Manzano High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1987. He went on to New Mexico State University, where he received his B.A. in French and a minor in Hospitality in 1992. During his tenure at NMSU, Rodney visited France as much as possible, learning to love Paris along with Strasbourg. As a result of his education, location and interests Rodney became fluent in both French and Spanish a skill he kept up over the years. After graduation, Rodney joined Dillard’s management training program in Phoenix, Arizona. There, Rodney’s travel bug filled his life. He soon switched to a job with America West Airlines - flying to Paris on a moment’s notice. While Rodney often went with friends, he also was happy to travel to Paris alone. America West moved Rodney to Oakland, California and he continued to work with them until he was offered new opportunities in finance. Rodney worked for Providian, and then was recruited by several start up telecoms in the Bay Area. On April 5, 1999, Rodney met his future husband, David and from that moment on, they were a team. Rodney began working with Pacific Bell in 2000, in Pasadena, and stayed with the company until 2017, at that point known as AT&T. During his career, Rodney worked in San Ramon, Chicago, and remotely. Throughout 2017 and 2018 Rodney took care of David through a major health issue. They then found their way to Youngstown, NY and built an amazing life filled with friends and (as the pandemic allowed) continued their adventures. Through his many travels Rodney maintained friendships in France, England, Morocco, Switzerland, Thailand, The Philippines, Mexico, Canada and more. His friends will miss his calls, his loyalty, and his mischievous humor. They also know they will never quite get the spices right - Rodney was a creative force in the kitchen. Rodney is survived by his husband David Paul-Jones of Youngstown, NY, his sister April Maroney of Forest Park, IL, his dad, Keith Grisham of Albuquerque, NM, and his brother Warren and wife Kristina Grisham in Peralta, NM. Rodney was preceded in death by his mother, SanDee Grisham, his brother Greg Grisham, and Addy and Gene Jones, who considered him their son. A celebration of Rodney’s life will be held this fall. We are taking the time to get things just right. Plans include a new scholarship in Rodney’s name for high school students seeking a foreign exchange experience. Details on both will be announced by David soon.
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