Maria I. Jones, 75, Hispanic activist

May 23, 2006

Maria I. Jones, a retired library assistant and Hispanic community activist, died of breast cancer Saturday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. The Perry Hall resident was 75.

The former Maria Isabel Razuri was born and raised in Chepen, Peru, and was a secretary before moving to Baltimore in 1966. She became a U.S. citizen in 1972.

From 1967 to 1970, Mrs. Jones worked at the Spanish Apostolate, now the Hispanic Apostolate, providing naturalization assistance and advocacy for Spanish-speaking people.

She left in 1970 to raise her family and returned to the work force in 1985 as an assistant reference technician at the Johns Hopkins University's Milton S. Eisenhower Library. She retired in 2003.

She was a co-founder of Club Peru of Maryland and participated in medical missions to Guatemala, Mexico and Argentina. She also assisted in planning the Baltimore Hispanic Festival, the Columbus Day Parade and the Maryland Race for the Cure.

In recognition of her community service, Hopkins gave her its Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service in 1996.

"Maria Isabel Jones is best known for her promotion of and advocacy for Hispanic heritage and culture," The Johns Hopkins Gazette said of her award. "In her involvement in the Spanish Apostolate and the Baltimore-Cadiz Sister Cities Committee, and as a co-founder of the Club Peru of Maryland, Jones helps to raise funds for schools, senior centers, nursing homes and Hispanic festivals. In her volunteer work she helps to provide a wide range of assistance to Hispanic families of limited economic means."

For her work in the Hispanic community, Mrs. Jones received Maryland's Public Service Achievement Award from Gov. Parris N. Glendening in 1996 and the Baltimore County Council's Humanitarian Award in 1997.

Mrs. Jones enjoyed cooking and dancing.

She was a member of Kingsway Christian Center, 7403 Gum Spring Road in Rosedale, where services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Surviving are her husband of 39 years, D. Daniel Jones, a salesman; two sons, Richard D. Jones of Halethorpe and Peter J. Jones of Parkville; a brother, Enrique Razuri of Peru; three sisters, Josefa Villamonte of Toronto and Delia Razuri and Julia Razuri, both of Peru; and three grandchildren.

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