Queen Victoria Jones began working as a domestic when she was a teen-ager and rarely missed a day of work.
After she retired at 85, she took in laundry to keep busy.
"She was always very active and always doing so much," said her son, Floyd P. Jones Jr. of Baltimore.
Mrs. Jones died Saturday of an aneurysm at Granada Nursing Home in West Baltimore. She was 103.
Since 1954, she had lived in Sparks, where she did her own cooking and cleaning and washed clothes by hand, using a washboard.
"She didn't always move very fast, but she got the work done all of the time," said Frances Cornier, a neighbor. "She didn't ask for help, I guess because she didn't need it. She always seemed to be able to do for herself just fine."
"She used to use a wood stove for a long time. I know that because I used to chop all of her wood for her," Mr. Jones said.
But in the 1960s, Mrs. Jones had a natural gas heating system installed in the house and afterward, she had plumbing installed.
A native of northwest Baltimore, the former Queen Dyett attended the "colored school" on Carey Street in West Baltimore.
In 1923, she married Floyd P. Jones Sr. and the couple lived on Bruce Street for many years. Mr. Jones died in 1954, and she moved to Sparks in northern Baltimore County to live with her late sister.
One of Mrs. Jones' favorite pastimes was writing letters to friends and reading her mail, Reader's Digest and especially the Bible. She often read late into the night.
"Her mind was always sharp. She used to chuckle and laugh to me and say, 'I can't believe I'm 103.' Her mind was sharper than mine," her son said.
"She wrote very well and was still reading until three weeks ago," said her daughter, Mary Brown of Baltimore.
"She also visited a lot of friends as best she could," Ms. Brown said. "She always had a lot of friends."
A funeral service will be held at 10: 30 a.m. tomorrow at Leroy O. Dyett Funeral Home, 4600 Liberty Heights Ave. in West Baltimore.
Other survivors include another son, Rudolph Jones of Live Oaks, Fla.; 11 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
Pub date: 7/23/96