Julian Earl `Rough House' Jones Sr., 75, crane operator

December 14, 2005

Julian Earl "Rough House" Jones Sr., a retired crane operator and Korean War veteran, died of cancer Friday at Northwest Hospital Center. The Randallstown resident was 75.

Mr. Jones was born and raised in Lynchburg, Va., and enlisted in the Army in 1947.

"He lied about his age and was 17 when he joined the Army," said a son, Julian E. Jones Jr. of Woodstock, Baltimore County.

Mr. Jones served with a field artillery unit in Korea and attained the rank of staff sergeant by the time he was discharged in 1953.

He moved to Baltimore that year and went to work at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant as a laborer. He became a crane and mobile equipment operator and retired in 1995.

"He got the name `Rough House' from an uncle who got him a job at Sparrows Point," the son said. "He was known as `Rough House Sr.' and a loan shark. My father, who wasn't a loan shark, got nicknamed `Rough House Jr.' My dad was a hard-working man who worked two jobs to help support his family. He also worked in security at movie theaters and warehouses."

Mr. Jones, who had lived for more than 40 years on East Oliver Street before moving to Randallstown in 1997, was an avid fisherman and cared for stray animals.

"He was always bringing home stray dogs or pigeons whose wings he fixed," his son said. "One time he rescued an injured turtle and repaired its broken shell with fiberglass. We even had several foxes that he cared for."

Services will be held at 9 a.m. Friday at Mount Calvary Freewill Baptist Church, 1101 E. North Ave.

Also surviving are his wife of 51 years, the former Margaret L. Watkins, a retired Baltimore public school educator; two daughters, Vernetta N. Marshall of Baltimore and Danita M. Hill of Windsor Mill; a brother, James Jones of Lynchburg; five sisters, Hattie Shaw of Pikesville, Dorothy Jones, Elizabeth Jones, Lillian Braxton and Barbara Brown, all of Lynchburg; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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