Earl 'Pen' Jones, engineer and preservationist

Earl Penuel "Pen" Jones Jr., a mechanical engineer who worked to preserve historic Lutherville, died Nov. 7.

Earl Penuel Jones Jr., a retired mechanical engineer who worked to preserve historic Lutherville, died Nov. 7 of complications of brain cancer at Brookdale Assisted Living in Baltimore County. He was 82.

Born in Savannah, Ga., he was the son of Earl P. Jones, a vice president of the Citizens and Southern National Bank, and Norma Jones. He attended the Riley School and was a 1953 graduate of Savannah High School; he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He served in the Army, stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va.


As a child, he spent summers on Tybee Island and developed a love of sailing and the water. He sailed, canoed, hunted fished and crabbed on the Wilmington River.

He moved to Baltimore when he was hired by Westinghouse for its international project division at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. He became manager of a radar system designed to surround the island of Taiwan.


He retired in 1994.

In a memoir, Mr. Jones said, “I traveled internationally so often that I was able to take my entire family to Europe on frequent-flyer miles.”

He met his future wife, Drusilla Park, a Goucher College senior, on a double date. They married in 1962.

In his memoir, he said, “After birthing two hardy sons, the Joneses were challenged to learn that they had a recessive Celtic gene between them for cystic fibrosis when their third child, Gwyneth, was born. Determined to give her the best possible childhood, despite her condition, they [met] with the pioneer of cystic fibrosis treatment, Dr. Annie Bestebreurtje. Gwyneth became a medical miracle, living into her thirties, marrying and winning environmental awards.”

Mr. Jones, who settled on West Seminary Avenue in Lutherville in the late 1960s, was active in historic preservation.

“In the early 1970s Pen Jones was a critical member of the group formed to protect historic Lutherville,” said Jeff Fones, a former neighbor. “He fought to get Lutherville placed on the National Register of Historic a district when Charles Street was proposed to be extended through to the Ridgely Shopping Center for access to the old Stewart’s department store. He presided over numerous zoning battles, and tirelessly fought developers who sought to destroy historic homes. Pen was a component in helping to create the local historic district of Lutherville. Without Pen, the community would not be what it is today.

“He was in that battle until he became sick,” said Mr. Fones, who lives in St. Michaels and sits on its Historic District Commission.

Mr. Jones also assisted his wife by carrying boxes of books she collected for the annual sale sponsored by the Friends of the Goucher College Library. In the 1980s, when his wife opened a bookshop, Drusilla’s Books, on Howard Street’s Antique Row, he worked alongside her at the shop and accompanied her on buying trips.


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Mr. Jones was a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Mount Vernon, where he served on its vestry and welcomed new members, prepared financial statements, and raised funds from a Halloween dance for the preservation of the historic church.

In 1980 he was featured in The Baltimore Sun’s food pages for his mastery of a sweet dish, Kaiserschmarrn, a fluffy shredded pancake that can be served as a dessert or a breakfast dish. It takes its name from Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who was fond of the dish.

Mr. Jones was also a member of the Scottish Country Dancing Society.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Cathedral and Read streets.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years; two sons, Jon Giles Jones of Santa Fe, N.M., and Robin Penuel Jones of Towson; and two sisters, Shirley Marks of Savannah and Nancy Jones of Decatur, Ga. His daughter, Gwyneth J. Spangler, died in 2008.