Delco re:View Spring 2018 - 30

Still Chuggin' Along

By: Nancy Jonaitis


hen asked, "How are you
doing?" Edmund Jones
will smile and tell you,
"Oh, I'm chuggin' along."
More than 99 years ago, on April
15, 1918, in a twin house on 14th
Street in Chester, Pennsylvania, my
boss, Edmund Jones, was born. He
lived in this house until the age of
12, when the local Chester madam
purchased the twin next door and
decided to set up shop. Not long
thereafter, Edmund's father, Henry
W. Jones, a prominent attorney in
Chester, and his wife, Margaret,
decided it might be best to move the
family, now including Edmund's younger brother, H. Walter, to
a new neighborhood with less "traffic." Henry Jones designed
and built a new home for his family in Swarthmore, a town that
would quickly become very dear to Edmund's heart.
As a young boy, Edmund was very industrious, working
on his father's farm in Aston, where the family spent their
summers in an effort to avoid infantile paralysis (polio), a highly
contagious viral disease prevalent at that time. Edmund tended
to his bee hives and chickens and then traveled from door to
door selling his honey and fresh eggs. In high school, Edmund
enjoyed being connected with his fellow students, being voted
as president of his junior high and his senior high classes. He
was also a member of the track team and tied for first place in the
state championships in pole vaulting.
After high school, Edmund attended Swarthmore College,
graduating with high honors with a B.A. in Economics. The
then-21-year-old became co-founder and first manager of First
Federal Savings & Loan Association of Chester (which later
became First Keystone Bank, now merged with Bryn Mawr Trust
Continuing in his desire to work with and help his fellow
man, Edmund decided to become a lawyer, mirroring his father,
and his grandfather, Edmund Jones, for whom he is named.
While WWII was raging in Europe, Edmund was fortunate to
attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and earned
his Juris Doctor, graduating in the top quartile of his class of
1942. He would barely have time to practice law with his father
in Chester, however, when he was drafted into the U. S. Army as
a private on December 31, 1942. As he rose through the ranks
in the Army, Edmund was eventually assigned to the Judge
Advocate General's Office ("JAG") performing research for JAG
in an effort to bring Nazi war criminals to justice during the War
Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, Germany.

30 | Spring 2018

After being discharged from the Army with the rank of
Captain in 1946, Edmund came home to practice law with his
father at Jones & Jones, which would become Delaware County's
oldest, continuously practicing law firm from 1876 through 2015,
when Edmund began practicing law as a solo practitioner.
Staying true to his love of wanting to help people, among
his many other occupations, Edmund went on to become Mayor
of Swarthmore, elected Representative with the Pennsylvania
General Assembly, president of both Chester and Swarthmore
Rotary Clubs, Member of Delaware County Council, Board
Member of SEPTA, and Chairman of the Swarthmore Centennial
Foundation, having raised more than $1M for charitable
scholarships and community projects.
Edmund has enjoyed hiking throughout his life; and, over
the course of approximately 50 years, he has climbed the highest
mountain in 49 of the 50 states except Alaska (Mt. McKinley).
After being warned by a local resident that 5 men had died trying
to climb Mt. McKinley during the time of year Edmund was in
Alaska, Edmund instead chose to take a safer route and rented an
airplane, having the pilot circle the peaks of Mt. McKinley and
then land 10,000 feet atop the mountain.
While loving the practice of law, Edmund managed to meet
and marry the love of his life, Adalyn ("Lyn") Purdy Jones,
a practicing Quaker. Believing in the tenets of Quakerism,
Edmund converted to Quakerism, and together, Lyn and Edmund
welcomed four children into their lives, Linda, Eleta, Edmund
("Ted"), and Nancy. It was a tragic day in 1964, however, when
Ted, Edmund's only son and namesake, was murdered at the age
of 14 by a school mate on Mischief Night. In memory of Ted, in
1965, Edmund and Lyn created the Edmund A. Jones Memorial
Scholarship at Swarthmore College, which, today, continues to
benefit graduates of Swarthmore High School, now known as
Strath Haven High School, and Delaware County high schools,
or Pennsylvania high schools, respectively.
Through the tragedy of his family's loss, Edmund continued
to practice law. Both he and Lyn stayed active in the community
during their 72-year marriage until Lyn's death at the age of 95.
In 2013, Edmund was lucky enough to marry the second love
of his life, Donna Kay Croddy, at the young age of 95.
When asked, "What is your secret to longevity?" he responds,
"I never smoked or drank alcohol." (This writer would venture
a guess that it is his good genes, positive attitude, and staying
active; [and his kind and caring soul enhances his perpetual
positivity and good genes!])
On any given day of the week, including some weekends, if
you drop by the Offices at Ten Beatty Road in Media, you may
see him "chuggin' along" in his law office. I have been blessed
to know and work with this gentle giant of a man for more than
20 years and look forward to seeing him gently "chuggin' along"
in happiness and good health for many years to come. *

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