Frank Lathrop Jones

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Frank Lathrop Jones, 78, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and formerly of Marblehead, Mass., died Jan. 15, 2006, at Hospice of Cincinnati following a long illness.

Born in Wilsonville, he was drafted after his high school graduation and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After an honorable discharge, he attended Northwestern University and earned his bachelor&8217;s degree in electrical engineering from the American Institute of Technology. As a young engineer, he began his career with Crosley Broadcasting in Cincinnati during the pioneering days of TV. When Crosley was acquired, first by the Avco Corporation and subsequently by Textron Systems, his work moved from the commercial sphere to that of the government, specifically the defense industry.

While developing and testing air traffic control systems in Ohio, he was recruited in 1964 by the Avco Research Laboratory in Everett, Mass., to work on re-entry missile technology and his family moved to Marblehead, Mass. His work designing, building and analyzing sophisticated electronics to monitor the re-entry signature of incoming missiles would be later applied in the programs that sent men into space and returned them safely to earth.

After retiring in 1987, he was able to satisfy his lifelong avocation of woodworking, both in his home workshop and at the Blue Anchor Woodworks in Marblehead, Mass., where he contributed to the design and fabrication of specialty cutting tools to replicate antique molding for the restoration of historic homes.

An engineer to the core, he had a basic curiosity about how things worked and according to his wife, &8220;could fix anything.&8221; His interests were varied and boundless, ranging from the history of the Civil War to outer space. He was an enthusiastic sailor, an avid reader and a lover of music especially classical and jazz. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed camping, cruising and being in touch with nature. He was a beloved husband, a devoted father, an adored grandfather and a loyal and trustworthy friend.

He was a member of the Eastern Yacht Club of Marblehead, Mass., and the Cincinnati Country Club. He was also a former member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Martha (Nyvall) Jones of Cincinnati, Ohio; two sons, Eric (Carolyn Boos) Jones of Minneapolis, Minn., and Steven (Carolyn Nielson) Jones of Cincinnati, Ohio; five grandchildren, Benjamin, Jennifer, Katherine, Carson and Maya; and two sisters, Ann Thomas of Anniston and Mary Handrick of South Laguna, Calif.

Service will be Feb. 4 at noon in the Library at Adams Place in Cincinnati, Ohio. The family requests memorial donations be made to Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242