Jones, Helen A.

April 20, 2006

HELENARMSTRONG JONES, 86, Political Pioneer Helen Armstrong Jones, a political pioneer recalled for her vision and tenacity died early Wednesday morning at Citizen's Care Center after rigorously battling illness. The life long Havre de Grace resident was 86. Helen Armstrong Jones shattered the gender barrier with her election to the Havre de Grace City Council in 1963 thus becoming the first women elected to that body in the City's History. During her tenure, she championed sensible, no-nonsense government. She faced the many challenges of the time head on and helped to planned the beautiful City we enjoy today. Her number one priority was preservation of the city's shoreline so that the general public could have access to the waterfront. Her greatest political battle was waging opposition to the proposed location of a new waste water treatment facility planned along the City's waterfront. Leading a grass roots effort, Mrs. Jones and her friends forced the City fathers to construct the plant at its current day location near the National Guard Armory instead of at the planned present day location of the Citizens Care Center, ironically where she was cared for at the end of her life. Helen Armstrong Jones believed in and helped to bring the American dream of home ownership to Havre de Grace. She was a co-founder of the City's Housing Authority and served on their Board of Directors. Helen Armstrong Jones ended her political career much like it began by challenging gender norms and the status quo with a nearly successful bid to be the City's first female Mayor. A position to this day not yet attained by any woman. Helen Armstrong Jones is a graduate of Strayers University. She retired after 30 years of service at Army Ballistics Research Laboratory of Aberdeen Proving Ground. She was a licensed real estate agent and worked for many years with BCH realty. She was a life member of Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic and the Harford County Board of Realtors. Boating, horse racing and shooting craps were among her many hobbies as was being the Matriarch of the Armstrong Clan. In 1997, Helen Armstrong was proclaimed a "Harford Living Treasure" by the Harford County Executive Eileen Rehrmann and all the Members of the Harford County Council. In 1998 she was honored by the Maryland House of Delegates with passage of House Resolution 485. The bill in her honor was sponsored by Delegate James Harkins. Helen Armstrong Jones was born on September 12, 1919 in Perryman, daughter of the late John Thomas Armstrong and Nellie Marie Mc Donald Armstrong of Poverty Island, now part of Aberdeen Proving Ground. She is survived by her son Charles Calvin Jones, Jr.; two sisters Ruth Armstrong Miller, and Nellie Armstrong Lisanti all of the City; six nephews, John Thomas (Tom) Armstrong III of Orlando Florida, Michael Dennis Armstrong of Churchville, James Patrick (Jim) Miller, Joseph Armstrong Miller, Marion Vincent Armstrong Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee, Virginia, Paul Lloyd Armstrong; two nieces, Jean Marie Armstrong and Mary Ann Lisanti and all of the City. She is preceded in death by her husband of 53 years Charles Calvin Jones Sr., two brothers; John Thomas (Jack) Armstrong Jr., Marion Vincent (Bill) Armstrong; a sister Catherine Armstrong Adams and one nephew John Taylor Miller. Friends are invited to call upon the family at Tarring-Cargo Funeral Home on Thursday, April 20th from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Friday, April 21st at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Havre de Grace with Father William J. O'Brien III officiating and Father John J. Abrahams assisting. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church or The Citizen's Care Center Capital Construction fund.

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