Meet Ilesia ‘Faye’ Jones
By Beverly J. Clark, Publicity Director
Ilesia “Faye” Jones retired in 2020 from Personnel, the same year the Lakers won the NBA Championship, and the Dodgers won the World Series!
She was employed with the City for 33 years and worked for the Harbor, Public Works/Sanitation and Personnel.
In retirement, Faye enjoys reading, playing the game “Words with Friends,” and backgammon. She is an enthusiastic sports fan and cheers for her favorite teams, the Dodgers, Lakers and Rams. Whenever she has an opportunity, she attends Dodgers and Lakers games. She hopes she will be able to attend a Rams game this year!
Faye loves to take walks in the morning, spend time with family and friends, garden, assist her brother’s and twin sister’s ministries, and being on “Grammy” duty (her grandchildren call her Grammy).
Faye has been married to her husband, Reggie, for 35 years. They have one daughter, Lanae, and one son, R.J.; one granddaughter, Logan; and one grandson, Harper. She has a twin sister and five older brothers.
What are you doing in retirement to fill your days and stay active?
“Since retiring, I have not had the opportunity to travel for pleasure yet. My travels have been only to fulfill familial obligations, i.e., weddings, funerals, sick relatives, etc. However, my plans are to go on a cruise with family within the next year or so. I would love to take my grandchildren on the Disney Cruise.
“I am learning to keep myself busy in retirement and have joined RLACEI and a book club. I am also involved with my church, New Life Baptist Church, where I serve as the Youth Director, and I am a member of a Mental Health Awareness Task Force, where the goal is to remove the stigma attached to mental illness.”
Do you have words of wisdom to share with retirees or those about to retire?
“Absolutely! Make sure you have something to do. Retirement is the best thing ever for me, but I am grateful that I am still busy. It’s a different type of busy – busy helping with my grandchildren, busy helping with different ministries, busy catching up on my favorite television shows. Whatever it is, I have something to keep me occupied. I recall a day where I was just idly sitting in the house, and remember my son saying to me, ‘Make sure when you retire you have something to do.’ When my son first told me this, I thought, ‘I don’t need to do anything but sleep when I want to.’ Well, my son was right…you do need something to do. You need to keep moving! But as a Retiree, I can move on my own schedule … for the most part.”
What was the smartest thing you did to prepare for retirement, or did you plan on retiring when you did?
“I believe preparing financially for retirement was the smartest thing I did. I wanted to make sure that any job I had post-retirement would not be a necessity, but a pastime.”
What do you miss or don’t miss about your years of service to the City of Los Angeles?
“The main things I miss about my years of service with the City of Los Angeles are the friendships that I developed along the way. Even though I am still in contact with many of my City friends/family, it’s not the same as being able to walk to Starbucks with them, or have friendly conversations in the Public Works Building, or wherever I see them – elevators, Subway, etc. I miss the day-to-day interactions. I truly enjoyed working for the City of Los Angeles for 33 years, but the people are what made it special. Some of these same people have become more like family to me, and they will no doubt stay a part of my life.”
As you reflect on your City career, would you have done anything differently?
“No, I don’t think I would have done anything differently. Sure, there were mistakes I made along the way, but that’s all a part of life. You take the good with the bad – learn from it and move on. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked for the City of Los Angeles for 33 years.”
How do you fill your days in retirement?
“I start each day with prayer, followed by a morning walk with my husband. The rest of the day just depends on what day of the week it is. I have a specific routine for each day of the week. On Mondays, I listen to my sister on talk radio. On Tuesdays, I attend Bible Study. Wednesdays are my cleaning and gardening days. On Thursdays, I participate in my sister’s mental health ministry. Fridays are when I meet with my prayer group. The weekends are dedicated to my family and church. Although each day has a specific activity and/or purpose, on any given day I might go to the movies, or shopping, spend hours on the phone, or help family and friends however they may need me.”
If you could change one thing about Retired life, what would that be?
“It’s a blessing to be Retired. There isn’t anything I would change.”