John Fountaine Jones Jr., 65, teacher for 25 years

March 24, 1998|By Mike Bowler | Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF

John Fountaine Jones Jr., who taught for 25 years in Baltimore public and private schools and at Towson State University, died of liver disease Sunday at Sacred Heart Hospital Hospice of the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland. He was 65.

Mr. Jones began his teaching career at Polytechnic Institute in 1958, shortly after graduating from Millersville (Pa.) State College. He taught history at Eastern High School and Northern High School before serving as public information officer for the city school system from 1970 to 1973.

In that position, he met frequently with the press and school and community groups during a time of student unrest over desegregation.

In 1973, he started a second career in the mental health field. Mr. Jones was field director for two national research studies on drug abuse rehabilitation conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

From 1978 to 1981, he was assistant commissioner for mental health in Indiana before returning to Baltimore to teach at Seton Keough High School and the Baltimore Actors Theater Conservatory.

During the summers, he taught Maryland history at St. Mary's College for the statewide gifted and talented program, and coordinated internships and did some teaching for the SANDALS National Science Foundation Young Scholars program on the campus of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Mr. Jones taught the history of science part time in the physics department at what is now Towson University for 10 years before retiring in 1995. Three months ago, he moved from Baltimore to his wife's family home in Lonaconing.

Mr. Jones earned a master's degree from Hopkins and did graduate work at Cambridge University in England.

A gregarious man, he often laughed about his brief Army service in the late 1950s. The Army could not find size 17 1/2 shoes to fit him so he was never able to march and was honorably discharged.

"John was conversant on a wide range of topics from architecture to politics, and he could discourse on any of them at any time," said his wife, Andrea R. Bowden, whom he married in 1977. "To go along with that, he was a voracious reader."

Mr. Jones prided himself on remembering the faces and names of former students. Once, when the television camera at Oriole Park at Camden Yards centered on the "Fan of the Game," he identified the lucky winner as one of his students at Eastern two decades earlier.

He was an Orioles fan and could recite players' names and statistics from years past.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 5 p.m. April 6 at St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, 120 N. Front St., Baltimore.

He also is survived by a sister, Leslie Breeden of Wooster, Ohio.

Pub Date: 3/24/98

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