It will sound awkward, not to sound disrespectful. But might I suggest a sentence you could possibly use ? I'm replacing 'deceased' with 'late' :
"My late husband and I have been close friends with the Jones ever since we met."
or you could use subtle ways sentences like :
"We have been close friends with the Jones since we met them, back when I was with my husband."
But this could also be interpreted as : "You have legally separated from your husband".
This is the problem with one of the sentences provided as a comment :
"My husband & I became close friends with the Joneses when we first met, & they still are my close friends"
However, this can be used if the listener has an idea that your husband has passed on. (which in case you'll not need to specify about your husband's current state, again, not to be disrespectful).