VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Louis R. Jones was known as Mr. Bayside.

So it only seemed fitting that Virginia Beach City Council saw fit to honor Jones, who served on Virginia Beach City Council for 36 years until he died June 18 at age 86, with the renaming of the Bayside Recreation Center to the The Louis R. Jones Bayside Recreation Center after council unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday to rename it.

Jones’ 36 years on council included two periods as mayor – July 1, 1982 through June 30, 1984 and May 1, 2018 through Nov. 19, 2018 – and 15-and-a-half years as the vice mayor (Nov. 1, 2002 through May 1, 2018).

The adopted resolution noted that “he was instrumental in many projects including the Lake Gaston project” and said honoring his memory by renaming the recreation center “would be a fitting reminder to the city’s residents and visitors of the many years of service he provided to the city.”

The recreation center is at 4500 First Court Road and serves the recreational and fitness needs of the Bayside community and surrounding areas.

Council in June remembered Jones just days after he died while campaigning.

Jones was instrumental in brokering the deal that brought water to the city from Lake Gaston, and as mayor “in 2018, he and Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander toasted with glasses of water the water extension for Norfolk processing water for Virginia Beach.”

Delceno Miles, who council appointed in August to fill Jones’ seat when he died, said it was not lost on her what caused her to be serving on council.

“It’s bittersweet to be sitting here, because Louis gave so much to this city,” Miles said, “as a businessman, as a friend, ‘Mr. Bayside’ and so, I commend the family for allowing us to share – thank you for sharing Louis with us. His sacrifice and his love for the city was unparalleled and I just want to say thank you to the family for sharing Louis with us.

“He was a tremendous asset. He is sorely missed, and it is bittersweet for me to sit in this seat, because I know what caused me to be here. And so I want you to know that I appreciate this opportunity but I also know that I appreciate and value what Louis brought to this city. He brought a tremendous amount of integrity, love and passion for the city and it showed in the legacy.

“So this is just a minor way of saying thank you to the family. Having his name on a building, it’s not nearly enough to say thank you for the tremendous sacrifice he made, and that you all made, because you being a part of the family, I’m sure he missed many dinners and celebrations because he cared about the city, and he sat on this dais to do his part to make this a better place.”

Current Vice Mayor Rosemary Wilson said it was an honor to have the Jones family in attendance to receive the honor.

“As much as he loved his city, he loved his family even more,” Wilson said. “And there are a lot of Joneses in this city, I came to realize, and he was a very special, dear friend of mine, and a great councilman. … Thank you for sharing him with us for so many years and the impact that he had on the city, you just can’t even imagine, and I miss him every day.”