John Armiger Jr. continues family tradition
You won't find John Armiger Jr. scouring some two-for-one sale tomorrow. And don't look for him by the pool, either.
Instead, the 48-year-old son of an Army major will spend Memorial Day the way, he says, it's meant to be observed: "honoring and remembering those who have given their lives in defense of the United States."
On 70 rolling acres in Timonium, the president of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens has organized one of the area's most elaborate Memorial Day services. More than 300 people are expected at the 11 a.m. ceremony, which will feature music, a roll call of buried veterans and remarks by Maryland Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein.
Mr. Armiger is continuing a tradition his father began in 1967. As a sign of support, he donates burial space to Maryland veterans and public safety employees killed in the line of duty.
The Yale grad never planned to take over his father's business. But after trying law school and teaching, he became president of the cemetery 14 years ago.
He's adjusted to the awkwardness with which people sometimes view his job. But he's still surprised by his own emotional response to certain events.
"I can hear a march, and it gets to me," says Mr. Armiger of Lutherville. "That sadness is necessary. To remember with any meaning involves sadness."
Men laugh at Jackie Jones all the time.
Until they see her behind the wheel of a dump truck.
Then they rethink the wisdom of chortling at a woman who demolishes buildings for a living.
As a consultant to P&J Contracting and president of Mrs. Shine Brite, Ms. Jones relishes working in businesses that excavate, haul, pave and landscape. Last year, she decided to share her 14 years of experience with other would-be entrepreneurs by forming the Minority Women Business Association of Maryland.
In addition to networking, the 240-member group is involved in education and volunteer work, including feeding the homeless.
"The most difficult aspect is being accepted as a legitimate woman in business," laments the grandmother of two, who lives in Carroll County. "It's still a man's world. And minority women still get left out."
After a successful career in nursing, she and her husband founded the contracting company. In 1985, she branched out, creating her own janitorial service, which has now expanded into other fields.
Among her greatest accomplishments: cleaning Memorial Stadium.
"I would never do that again," she says with a sigh. "I'd rather clean bathrooms."
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