Niakia Desré Fontes, 23, of St. Marys passed away on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, as a result of a vehicle accident.
She was born on June 27, 1995, to Keisha Tanksley-Jones and Derick J. Fontes in Berkeley, Calif. Niakia was a graduate in Camden County High School Class of 2013 where she participated in cheerleading, gymnastics, theater, drama club, basketball, track and an all-American dancer, all before entering college.
Niakia attended Savannah State College and graduated from Valdosta State College with a bachelor's degree in mass communication. While at Valdosta State, she served as Miss Black and also served as an intern at Lowndes Associated Ministries to People Inc. (LAMP) and as a mentor to many. Her employment included T-Mobile, Buffalo Wild Wings, Longhorn, Paula Deen's and her most recent job was with Ops Pizza.
Niakia was a devoted member of Abundant Life Harvest Center under the leadership of Pastor Byron Dawson where she also participated in the dance team.
She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Joe Tanksley and Curtis Bey.
Survivors include her parents, Keisha (Duane) Jones of St. Marys and Derick (Chardé) Fontes of Fairfield, Calif.; her siblings, Annamarie Jones of St. Louis, Nicole Jones of St. Marys, Deandre Echols, Bailey, Franklin, Logan and Damien Fontes; her grandparents, Linda Tanksley of Kingsland, Virginia Fontes of Alexandria, La., and Shirley Jones of Columbus; her aunts, Eve Fontes of Alexandria, La., Kasie (Marcus) Moore of Kingsland and Tihira Jones of New Jersey; her uncles, Roy Jones of Long Island, N.Y., Willie Jones of Columbus and Kasil Jones of Kansas; one niece, Hannah Marie Jones; and a host of other relatives and close friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at First African Baptist Church, 495 N. Lee St. in Kingsland.
Final arrangements entrusted to Royal Funeral Home Inc. of Jesup.