Edward G. Jones Jr., 80, veteran, board chairman
Edward G. Jones Jr., founder of an architectural woodworking firm and a World War II combat veteran who landed in Normandy with the 29th Infantry Division on D-Day, died Wednesday of undetermined causes at his Parkton residence. He was 80.
At the time of his death, Mr. Jones was chairman of the board of Sieling and Jones Inc., a hardwoods and veneer company in New Freedom, Pa., that he founded in 1949.
Mr. Jones began his military career in 1938 when he enlisted in the Virginia National Guard. In 1941, he joined the 29th Infantry Division. He was aboard the troopship Queen Mary in 1942 when it struck and cut in half the Curacoa, a British light cruiser. The loss of the naval vessel in the Irish Sea remained for years one of World War II's most closely guarded incidents.
After training at Slapton Sands, England, Mr. Jones landed with the 29th Infantry Division on June 6, 1944, and led elements of the task force that liberated St. Lo.
After serving in the occupation of Germany, he returned to the United States and rejoined the National Guard in 1946. He was a former commander of the Fifth Regiment and held many general staff positions until being discharged with the rank of brigadier general in 1970.
His decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with cluster, French Croix de Guerre and the Purple Heart.
He was married in 1945 to the former Elizabeth Honor Duckham, an Englishwoman he had met during the war and who had been a member of the Women's Royal Naval Service.
An avid vegetable gardener, Mr. Jones also planted with his son more than 60,000 seedlings on the grounds of his Parkton farm.
Born in Waverly, he was raised in Richmond, Va., and graduated from high school there.
Mr. Jones was a past president of the Society of the War of 1812, a past commander of the Military Order of Foreign Wars and a former board member of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. He was also a past president of the St. George's Society.
He was a communicant at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave., Towson, where memorial services were held yesterday.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Jones is survived by a son, Edward G. Jones III of Parkton; two daughters, Sandra D. Jones Cook of Peterborough, N.H., and Elizabeth A. S. Jones Hansen of Stoneleigh; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.