Birthplace Alliance, Ohio
Resident of Rockport, Maine
Three to Five O' Clock in the Afternoon
Saturday, March 23, 2002
Burial will be private
Rockport - Howard G. Jones, 91, died at home March 18, 2002.
Born in Alliance, Ohio, on October 2, 1910, Mr. Jones lived by his credo, "Whatever you do, be the best that you can be in whatever you do!" The son of Ebenezer Reese and Mabel (James) Jones, he was a master craftsman, prototype model maker, and industrial designer. Moving to Rockport in 1947 with a determination to found the crafts movement, he had a profound influence on artisanship in Maine.
Mr. Jones attended the Cleveland Art Institute in the early 1930s, leaving school during the Depression to support himself by making monogrammed pins and fashion accessories of wood for the Women's Exchanges. Later, in Detroit, he worked as a designer for General Motors and, with the advent of the war, he made prototype models for all the armed services. Knowing he wanted to be in the East, he discovered Rockport on "the foggiest day in June." He and his wife Eleanor, also an artist, joined a growing artists' colony and were among the founders of both the Haystack Mountain School on Deer Isle and what became Maine Coast Artists in Rockport. He also made testing apparatus for the Round Table Foundation for ESP research in Rockport.
Mr. Jones's inquisitive nature, ingenuity, and aesthetic sense were complemented by his craftsman's skill. He could fabricate anything out of wood, metal, or plastic, and was the consummate prototype model maker, who could make the first of a design before it was put into production. When he moved to Maine he complemented his crafts career with work as a freelance designer and model maker for the American Optical Company and the Pennsylvania Optical Company. For Sea & Ski he modeled the first "girl-watcher" sunglasses, an icon of the 1960s. He created models for the Smithsonian Institution, and in recent years gained a national reputation for his Nantucket Lightship Baskets and scrimshawed purses.
Following the death of his wife Eleanor, he married Marjorie C. Hong of Stockbridge, MA. In Rockport in the late 1950s the couple ran The House of Hong, the first Chinese restaurant in the mid-coast region, out of their house on Russell Avenue. From 1976 until 1998, with his third wife, Winnie Easton-Jones, he delighted in "spoiling people rottener than they were" at the Sign of the Unicorn Bed & Breakfast on Beauchamp Point Road, Rockport. Howard served on the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Rockport in the 1970s, was a founding member of the Rockport Boat Club, and helped to build its original building.
Surviving are his wife Winnie Easton-Jones of Rockport, and stepchildren Douglas Easton of Los Angeles and Melissa Easton and her husband Christopher Peacock of New York City; his former wife Marjorie C. Jones of Rockport and their children: son David L. Jones and his wife Susan of Rockport; son Jeffrey J. Jones and his wife Tamera of Amherst, NH; and daughter Mari (Lani) Jones Wolterstorff and her husband Robert of Portland. Mr. Jones was predeceased by his first wife Eleanor and is survived by their son Timothy Jones and his wife Anita of Lithonia, GA. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and three neices and their families. He was predeceased by his sister, Doris Grant.
Visiting hours will be 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 23, 2002, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home at 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. Burial will be private.
Memorial donations in his name may be made to the charity of your choice, or to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, P.O. Box 518, Deer Isle, Maine, 04627; Rockport Public Library, P. O. Box 8, Rockport 04856; Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care, c/o Northeast Health, 22 White Street, Rockland 04841; The Riley School, P. O. Box 300, Glen Cove, Maine 04864; or the Camden Rockport Animal Rescue League, P. O. Box 707, Rockport, 04856.