May 17, 1961 – Dec. 18, 2020
Darryl Jones, affectionately referred to as Ferndarryl or the Mayor of 9 Mile, died Dec. 18. He was 59.
Jones grew up on the West Side of Detroit but in past decades it was Ferndale that he called home. He was a constant presence in the city and, say friends, much-beloved around town.
“Darryl’s attitude embodied what Ferndale Pride strives to become,” said Julia Music, director of Ferndale Pride. “He was welcoming, hilarious, kind and always ready for a celebration.”
He had a love of fashion, interior design and history – and also cats.
“He was just a fun, lovable guy,” said longtime friend Kita Richardson. “He would just do anything in his power to help you. He was a very classy guy. Just fun-loving. He was the life of the party. He was always positive. If you were down, he would try to lift you up. He was just a great human being.”
Jones was a regular at several businesses in downtown Ferndale and, indeed, across the city. He was a longtime fixture at Just 4 Us bookstore and gift shop back in the day. He also visited and sometimes assisted at places such as the Java Hutt and Soho.
“He used to help out at different bars and coffee shops in Ferndale,” Richardson said. “I know he wanted to be an interior designer so he would help me with different projects. He was starting to design pillows.”
Jones was also a regular at Ferndale Pride.
“Darryl reminded us that he was going to be ready for the next Pride after each Pride ended,” said Music. “True to his word, he never missed a year. He also never missed a Hot Daddies contest, which he was a big fan of and even entered once. He often lent an ear to the Pride director when she was stressed out.
“He inspired us to keep our hearts open and rainbows shining down 9 Mile,” Music continued. “We will never forget Darryl. His love and friendship was a light in our lives.”