BACK TO POEMS ABOUT FAMILY
BACK TO HANK JONES
A SALUTE TO HENRY JACOB KALTENTHALER JONES
GIVEN AT HIS MEMORIAL SERVICE ON DECEMBER 30 1998
SADDLEBACK CHAPEL, TUSTIN CALIFORNIA
By THOMAS J. MAGRANN II
A man to remember - - HENRY JACOB KATHENTHALER JONES - -better known to us as “HANK JONES”.
The Hank that I remember goes back to my Philadelphia days when I was in my mid-teens and Hank was a few years older. He was my sister’s new boy friend and I liked him from the start. He was always a good natured guy, always a smile on his face and always well dressed. His car although not new was always in perfect run-fling condition, cleaned and polished. In those days I had an old Jalopy that always needed repairs, and when I found out that Hank was an automobile mechanic--I almost fell in love with him myself.
Shortly after the start of World War II, Hank volunteered for military duty in the United States Coast Guard. He was assigned to the SS SAMUEL CHASE which was part of the fleet under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower that engaged in the landing and invasion of North Africa on 8 November 1942.This was a very successful military maneuver and Hank was always proud to be part of this effort--and we were always proud of Hank’s effort As we know from history, this Allied Force advanced thru Africa in a pincer movement meeting up with General Montgomery’s Eight Army and forced the surrender of a quarter million Axis Troops for the final victory in the African campaign. This was the turning point in the war for the Allies and a memory that Hank was able to re-kindle once a year at the annual “55 SAMUEL CHASE” REUNION.
When Hank returned to the United States he and~ my sister decided to marry and this special event took place in Philadelphia on 23 January 1943 and Hank choose me to be his best man at the wedding. That day I felt Hank not only married my sister---he married the whole Magrann family.
After the war, when there was full employment and the baby boom was upon us, Hank wanted to do something new and special for his family---he wanted to build his own house on his own lot in the country. I thought his idea was so great that we joined in the venture and did the same on the adjacent lot. We raised our children as one big family---those close family ties remain with us still to this day.
Hank was a dedicated and loyal worker; he rose from the rank of Automobile Mechanic to manager of the Service Department. But he needed a greater challenge and he found it when he launched his own Automobile Dealership,” Bristol Nash Motors", in the early fifties. After rising to the top of the Automotive World, he looked Westerly for a bigger challenge and like a pioneer of old he moved his family to California in 1963 and started from scratch. One venture led to another and during this time he made many new friends. During one of my early visits to California Hank was the proprietor of the” Safari Outpost”, a Bar and Grill in Cerritos. A long way from the Automobile business and a long way from Philadelphia.
This new occupation wetted his appetite and it was not long before he launched into the Restaurant business opening the “Tom Jones LTD” a great eatery and entertainment spot in Orange
County. After a successful run in the Restaurant business, in 1979, Hank decided to sell the Business and retire- - -but he could never retire from work---Hank was a HANDYMAN---and a HANDYMAN always has work to do---f or friends, for relatives and occasionally even for his own Wife.
It was my pleasure in 1993 to make a video tape of Hank and Peg’ life to be shown at their surprise 50th wedding anniversary. As I went thru the collection of pictures that the Jones children had gathered, it galvanized my thoughts and the image of my Brother-in-Law; he was quiet man, a dedicated man, a hard worker, a good Father, a loyal and loving husband and seldom if ever did I see him display anger.
Hank has now retired from his earthly jobs and we will surely miss him but I’m certain that Saint Peter will find some needed work to be done and it will not surprise me that Hank will be working on those Pearly Gates and have them opening wide- -waiting for us to join him.
MAY HIS SOUL FIND EVERLASTING HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT