Joseph Jones, 74, owned moving company

September 18, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Fifteen years ago, Joseph Jones realized his dream of owning his own business when he opened Jones and Sons Transfer Co., a moving and hauling company that he operated out of his East Baltimore home.

"He just liked the idea of being self-employed and not having to answer to anyone," said a daughter, Mildred Dorsey of Havre de Grace.

Mr. Jones died Saturday of Parkinson's disease at the Golden Years nursing home in Northwest Baltimore. He was 74.

At the small business -- three trucks that operated mostly in the Baltimore area -- Mr. Jones did everything but the heavy lifting, which he left to his three sons.

"We did most of the lifting and hauling stuff from the truck," said a son, Lawrence Jones of Baltimore. "It seemed he always left that for us to do."

A native of Norfolk, Va., Mr. Jones moved to Baltimore as a young boy in 1925. He attended Dunbar High School and married Beatrice Gilbert in 1940.

He worked an assortment of jobs as a driver before he joined Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Key Highway dry dock as a welder in 1957. He left in 1972 to start the trucking company. He retired in 1987.

Mr. Jones was a skilled carpenter and bricklayer and did renovations at his home.

Thomas Robinson, who lived near Mr. Jones in the 1600 block of Hartsdale Road, remembers hearing the sounds of hammering and sawing coming from the Jones residence within minutes after Mr. Jones came home from work. Mr. Jones' sons would help with the renovation projects.

"Everything he did by himself or with his boys," Mr. Robinson said. "You always knew when he was home because you could hear the tools."

But some of the renovations were greeted with skepticism by family members. During one project, Mr. Jones removed two columns in the living and dining rooms, and family members were not certain the ceiling had been shored up properly.

"We were afraid that the ceiling was going to fall down. We thought he was making a big mistake," Ms. Dorsey said. "In fact, we still think it's going to fall down."

Services will be held at noon today at William March Funeral Home, 1101 E. North Ave.

Other survivors include his wife; two other sons, William Gilbert and Harold Jones, and another daughter, Josephine Parks, all of Baltimore; 26 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 9/18/96

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