Warren “Rhubarb” Jones, the senior director of development at Kennesaw State University, died suddenly after a heart attack on Sunday, April 2.
Jones joined the KSU community in 2008. Before his role as director, he was a professor in the School of Communication & Media.
“He was one of the most popular professors among the communications students and a passionate supporter of KSU,” the university said in a statement.
Ellen Eldridge is a reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who graduated from KSU. In an article for the AJC she wrote that, the morning before his death, Jones commented on one of her pieces on Facebook.
“He told me he was proud of me just hours before he died. I’m still in shock,” Eldridge said in her article. “His mass communication class at Kennesaw State University was one of my favorites.”
In a press release on KSU’s website, President Sam Olens called Jones “a truly authentic individual” and expressed his condolences.
“This is a very sad day for all of us,” Olens said. “Rhubarb always had a smile on his face, a generous spirit and was dedicated to helping others.”
Beyond KSU, Jones is most remembered for his role at Y106 FM, an Atlanta-based country radio show that he co-hosted in the late 1980s. Because of his instrumental role in the station’s success and his humanitarian accomplishments, he was inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 2001 and in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.
Rhubarb is widely known for his charity events, including the Rhubarb Jones Celebrity Golf Tournament for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and his annual March Across Georgia for the LLS. Rhubarb was also an Atlanta co-host for the annual Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon.
According to a post by the AJC, a public visitation service for Jones will be held at Mill Town Music Hall in Bremen from 3 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5. The funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Tallapoosa.
Sierra Hubbard contributed to this article.