Krewe of Ceres names queen and king

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Krewe of Ceres celebrated its 55th annual Charity Ball on Feb. 19 at the Lincoln Civic Center.

Abbigail Elizabeth Jones was named queen and David Steven Braden was named king. 

Queen Jones is the daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Calvin Jackson “Jack” Jones.  She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Joyce Duncan and the Late James R. Duncan and Mr. and Mrs. John P. Jones 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A Brookhaven High School graduate, Jones was a starter for the BHS varsity tennis team. She was a dancer in the annual Homecoming production and became the student director of the production her senior year. She was also inducted into the National Honor Society as well as Mississippi Scholars. She received the music award for highest class average and she was on the all A honor roll keeping a 4.0 GPA all four years. This led her to receive the UM Jones Scholarship. During her time at Brookhaven High she also tutored fellow students helping them with classes and state tests. Her senior year she was voted a Belle in the school yearbook. 

While in Brookhaven, she was a member of Junior Auxiliary Crown Club, Les Belles De L’Hospitale and volunteered with JA’s Milk & Cookies with Santa, and BARL. She was also a dancer at Showstoppers Studio of Dance for 14 years and competed on their competitive team six years.

With one older brother who went to Mississippi State and the other at Ole Miss, Jones broke the tie and chose to attend Ole Miss as a marketing major. There she became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Joining this sorority allowed her to participate in philanthropic events such as the Breast Cancer Care Walk and the Theta Encore Dance fundraiser for CASA. She later joined the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and became the President in 2021. She also joined and help found Non-Greek Outreach and is the Vice President and Social Media manager of that organization. 

While in Oxford, Jones continued her volunteer work and joined Leap Frog her sophomore year — a local afterschool tutoring organization that helps kids who struggle with their reading levels. She also volunteered at the annual charity auction for Second Chance Mississippi the same year. This organization works to raise money and awareness for adult education programs in Mississippi. 

Jones is currently a marketing intern and social media influencer for Aramark. 

Jones will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and plans to attend graduate school in the summer pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Mississippi. 

Jones is a communing member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church where she served as an altar server for nine years.  She also helped with bible school several summers.    

Her family has a history with the Charity Ball. Her brother Nathan Garrett Jones was an escort in 2005 and her other brother Christopher Taylor Jones was an escort in 2008. Her godparents, Peggy Walker Rushing and Jeremy Corkern, also participated in the ball. 

Jones expressed her appreciation to the Krewe of Ceres for allowing her to serve alongside King Braden as queen of the 2022 Charity Ball.  She is grateful to her family, friends and the community for all their encouragement and support.

King Braden was born in Tupelo in 1958 to Guy Brice Braden and Jean Shurden Braden. He grew up in Tupelo where his father worked as a National Parks Service Historian at the Natchez Trace Parkway until his untimely death in 1972.  

Braden was a 1976 Honors Graduate of Tupelo High School where he served on the Student Counsel and was an officer in Junior Civitan and a member of the cross country team. He was a National Merit finalist and upon graduation was voted Most Likely to Succeed by his classmates. He was an active Boy Scout, obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout as well as receiving the God and Country award and the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. He served as Lodge Chief of the Chicksa 202 Order of the Arrow Lodge.

Braden graduated in 1980 from Mississippi College with a bachelor’s of science degree in biology. While at Mississippi College, he was a Collegiate Civitan and served as vice president his senior year. He was the president of the Men’s Affairs Board and was selected to the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Fraternity. He was selected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and upon graduation was elected to the MC Hall of Fame. He next entered Medical School at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where he graduated in 1984. While in medical school, he met and married the love of his life, Brookhaven native Karen Blaise. Upon graduation, he completed a three-year residency in pediatrics from 1984-1987 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. During that time, he was named the Holloman Outstanding Pediatric Resident his last year of residency. In 1987, he moved to Augusta, Georgia, where he completed a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at the Medical College of Georgia in 1990. Thereafter, he fulfilled a three-year obligation to the United States Navy. 

While in the Navy, he was awarded the Leadership Award at Officer Indoctrination School. He served as Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve and Staff Pediatric Cardiologist at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia. At the completion of his active duty in 1993, he returned to the University of Mississippi Medical Center as an assistant professor in Pediatrics and staff pediatric cardiologist and was subsequently academically promoted to associate professor. 

During his seven years, 1993-2000, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center he served as assistant director of the pediatric residency program and co-director of the Medicine-Pediatric combined residency program. He was active in both clinical and bench research, producing multiple publications and giving numerous presentations. He received the Bertille-Patterson Award for the outstanding pediatric faculty and was named a recipient of a Carl Evers Teaching Award while on faculty at UMC. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House and the Christian Medical and Dental Society. In 2000, he moved to Brookhaven to begin work at the Brookhaven Children’s Clinic. He continued his practice of Pediatric Cardiology in addition to maintaining a general pediatric practice. He remained at the Brookhaven Children’s Clinic until 2012. During that time, he served on the Board of Trustees for King’s Daughters Medical Center and was active in teaching Acute Life Support courses to various medical personnel through the hospital. He remained active in Boy Scouting, serving as Webelos den leader, Cubmaster of Troop 911 and Cubmaster of Troop 122. He also assisted with Boy Scout Troops 911 and 122. 

One of his great joys was participating in Eagle Scout Board of Reviews and seeing many young men fulfill their dream of becoming Eagle Scouts. One of his greatest thrills was being asked by his son, Blaise to deliver his charge at his Eagle Scout ceremony. 

He became very involved with Brookhaven and Lincoln County athletics and served as a team physician for the Brookhaven High School football team. He also assisted with several other sports, including soccer, basketball and baseball, and provided medical input and served as president of the BHS Soccer Booster Club.  

In 2012, he accepted an offer to return to Jackson to practice Pediatric Cardiology at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. However, he has continued to see a large patient following from South Mississippi, including patients from Brookhaven, McComb, Natchez, and their surrounding areas. He serves as a member of the Mississippi Health Professionals Credentialing Board. 

In spite of practicing in Jackson, Dr. Braden and his family have maintained their home in Brookhaven and continue to try to take an active role in the community. He and Karen, his wife of 39 years, attend Faith Presbyterian Church where he serves as an elder, and Karen has been active in the women’s ministries of the church. His greatest joys are his children and now his grandchildren. 

His oldest daughter, Katy, is an attorney in Atlanta, where her husband, Dave, practices architecture. They have two beautiful young daughters, Anne Douglas and Lilly, ages 5 and 3. Their second child, Marley, and her husband, Bech, live in Vermont where Bech works for the University of Vermont, and Marley is a middle school English and Language Arts teacher.  Marley and Bech have three young boys, Jack (10), Gil (7), and baby Bech (1). 

Their son, Blaise, is employed by UPS in Atlanta where he works in logistics, and their youngest daughter, Ansley, is employed by a nonprofit organization in Washington D.C., called No Labels, and is engaged to be married on June 4, 2022, to Matthew David Boylan of Long Island, New York.

Braden was thrilled and honored to be recognized as the king. He enjoys particularly strong ties to the Krewe of Ceres as his daughters Katy (2004) and Marley (2005) served as maids, son Blaise (2011) as an escort and his youngest daughter Ansley as a train bearer (2005). He was assisted at the ball by his dear friends, the members of his book club of 20 years.