Longtime Mason Employee Morris R. Jones to Retire

Posted: May 25, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By David Lee

Morris R. Jones will retire next month after 20 years of service to George Mason, all of it as a part-time wages employee. For the last 6 years, Jones has worked as an assistant locksmith in the Key Control Office. Previous jobs at George Mason include stints as the surplus property manager and property control manager in the Fixed Assets Office. A retirement reception for Jones, open to the university community, will be held on June 17 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Key Control Shop in Pohick Module, Room 19.

Before joining George Mason, Jones had a long and varied career of public service. Born 82 years ago and raised in Rome, N.Y., he attended Milton College in Wisconsin until he was inducted into the U.S. Army and served in Europe during World War II. Jones worked in a topographic mapping outfit, helping the war effort by revising and updating captured German maps for allied use. One project he worked on was to draw the newly built autobahns of Germany on these maps so the allies could navigate them.

After World War II, Jones earned a BS in general science, with a minor in economics, from South Dakota State University. In 1948, he started a career at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) doing field mapping surveys of the Midwest, which involved adding topography to existing base maps by actually checking the land. On a two-year leave from USGS, Jones mapped the ruins of Mayapan, an ancient city in Yucatan, Mexico, for archeologists at the Carnegie Institute. A few years later, he was asked to map the ruins of the ancient city of Tikil, Guatemala, for the University of Pennsylvania. Both projects gave him experiences living in the deep jungle and associating with native Indians.

In 1953, Jones came to Washington, D.C., to become a manager of the map distribution branch of the USGS, and he became chief of the unit in 1960, overseeing more than 100 employees. His office was charged with making sure that government agencies got the right maps or charts for their use, as well as distributing maps for the general public’s use.

In 1970, Jones transferred to a similar job at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Coast and Geodetic Survey unit, again overseeing more than 100 employees.

Jones retired in 1977 after more than 30 years of federal service. Following retirement, he worked as a school bus driver for Fairfax County Public Schools, as a state construction inspector on the I-66 highway project, and as head manager of the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Support Services Division. In this position he supervised the warehouse, mail service, purchasing, and property control for all five campuses of NVCC.

Jones has also been an avid National Park Service volunteer for 15 years at the Prince William Forest Park, clearing trails for park visitors in the backcountry. He is active in the George Mason Health Education Program for seniors, which he managed.

Jones and his wife, Romaine, live just across the street from the Fairfax Campus. He has four children, three stepchildren, and four grandchildren.

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