Albert Jones Sr., 80, war veteran, longtime Realtor

January 02, 2003|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

Albert L. Jones Sr., a decorated World War II veteran and longtime Realtor, died of a brain tumor at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. He was 80 and had lived in Cub Hill for more than 45 years.

A Baltimore native remembered for service to his country, devotion to his family and quirky affection for an old green pickup, Mr. Jones grew up in Fullerton.

He graduated from Towson Catholic High School in 1940 and attended Loyola College until enlisting in the Navy in 1942.

As a Navy fighter pilot, Mr. Jones served on the USS Yorktown, known as "the Fighting Lady of the Pacific." His air group received a presidential citation for extraordinary heroism in action. He received an honorable discharge from active service in 1949 and served in the Naval Reserve for 10 years.

In 1947, he married the former Alice K. Willinghan, who survives him.

For several years after retiring from active duty, Mr. Jones worked with his father-in-law, Joseph Willinghan, who ran a house-moving and construction company.

In the early 1950s, he joined his brother's real estate business in Parkville, eventually taking it over and renaming it Albert L. Jones Inc. He ran the business for 35 years and served on the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

Mr. Jones had many hobbies, including sailing a 36-foot boat on the Chesapeake Bay and growing show roses in his back yard. He also ran a Christmas tree farm in northern Baltimore County.

"A perfect day for my dad would be to water the roses in the morning, be up [at] the farm by noon to cut the fields, stop by the boat on the way home, and cut his lawn later that night with the lights on [on] the tractor," said his son, Albert L. Jones Jr. of Bel Air. "The idea of kicking back or resting never occurred to my dad."

The elder Mr. Jones shuttled between boat, tree farm and home in a mid-1970s Chevy pickup. Dappled with Rustoleum and patched in one spot with aluminum siding, it was the butt of many family jokes.

But Mr. Jones was as attached to the truck as he was the pet English setter who often occupied the passenger seat.

"He used to love to drive this old truck and literally it was beat-up and rusted, the whole thing," his son said. "I'm not going to say the guy was wealthy, but he certainly had the money to buy a nice truck. But he would drive this old truck."

Mr. Jones finally parted with the pickup a few years ago, when the brakes gave out. It fetched $75 at a junkyard.

Mr. Jones was a member of Hiss United Methodist Church in Parkville and served on its board of trustees for many years. Services will be held at the church, 8700 Harford Road, at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Jones is survived by two daughters, Carol Jones Brady of Timonium and Barbara Jones of Cub Hill; two sisters, M. Regina Gowl of Madonna and Junella Stanley of Towson; and four grandchildren.

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