By Brigette White, Special to the AFRO

Hari Jones was the assistant director and curator of the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, D.C., a writer, lecturer, historian, a motivational speaker, a content developer, a content advisor, an independent history consultant and on the Board of Directors of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Jones died suddenly after a heart attack on June 22 in Washington, D. C. at the age of 59.

Hari Jones’s friends and family are raising money to pay for his funeral on July 21. (Courtesy photo)

Jones was born November 1, 1958 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.

Two months after Jones graduated high school; he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served as an infantryman, an artillery officer and an intelligence officer.

Reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant as an enlisted Marine, he retired as a Captain in 1997 after twenty-one years of service.

Jones furthered his education by attending the University of Oklahoma where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree.

Jones presented his award-winning lecture series “The Lost Story” in the fall of 2015 at the National Civil War Museum.

He was one of the leading authorities on the role of African Americans in the Civil War.

Independent arts and crafts professional Warren Lyons said in a statement he knew Jones to be extremely knowledgeable about the Civil War.

“He is able to impart his wealth of knowledge in an exciting, and engaging manner. His grasp of the facts surrounding this significant period in American and indeed, world history is astonishing. His delivery is fluid, crisp and clear. He has an unforgettably engaging style, laced with humor and sincerity,” wrote Lyons.

Jones curated the permanent exhibit at the African American Civil War Museum entitled “The Glorious March to Liberty.”

Most recently he was working on a project for the DUSABLE Museum of African American History in Chicago; the TV show ‘Legends and Lies” for Bill O’Reilly as well as touring and giving lectures throughout the United States.

A memorial fund has been established for Hari Jones, who will be buried in the District. Those wishing to contribute can visit: .

A public service will be held in his memory at the African American Civil War Museum located at 1925 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 at 2:00 PM July 21.