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Old 06-25-2012, 09:57
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Default Stancil G. Jones, Los Angeles City Fire Department

Updated: 06/22/2012 12:59:07 PM PDT

Capt. Stancil G. Jones considered himself a regular guy.

But by the time he retired from the Los Angeles Fire Department in 2004, he'd fought nearly every catastrophic event in modern-day L.A. history, from explosions to riots to refinery blazes.

Jones, who spent much of his career at fire stations in the Harbor Area, died Sunday at the age of 85 in Newport Beach. He was born on Aug. 3, 1926, in Los Angeles.

Jones joined the city Fire Department on Nov. 1, 1948, the day before Harry Truman was elected president.

Through the years, he responded in the 1961 Bel-Air fire, the 1965 Watts riots, the 1972 StarKist Tuna cannery fire, the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In between, there were tanker explosions, wharf fires and refinery blazes.

"We had no radios, no breathing apparatus," he told the Daily Breeze in a 2005 interview. "If you wore gloves, you were considered a pansy."

In 2005, Jones' service was honored with the unveiling of a monument outside San Pedro's Fire Station 112, where he spent many years. A towering column engraved with his picture overlooks what is now the Stancil G. Jones Fire Plaza at Berth 86 near Harbor Boulevard.

And it's not like Jones didn't have anything else going on. He was the father of 13 children, two of whom followed him into the department. A grandson also became a firefighter. And Jones' daughter, Stacey Jones, was a high-ranking official with the Port of Los Angeles for years.

As a dad, he kept busy as a Boy Scout leader, football coach, track coach and houseboat captain during vacations on Lake Powell. The family often went fishing, camping, hunting and backpacking together.

Jones also was a runner, winning events in high school track, the Firemen's Olympics and the World Senior Olympics.

Jones was among the first firefighters on the scene when the SS Sansinena exploded in the Port of Los Angeles at 7:40 p.m. Dec. 17, 1976, shattering windows for miles around.

The tanker broke into three pieces, killing eight of the Italian crew members on board, along with a guard stationed at his post onshore.

"Here was this wall of flames rolling toward San Pedro Boat Works," Jones recalled in a 1998 interview with the Daily Breeze. "Scraps of metal (from the tanker) were lying on the ground like a junkyard."

Jones kept working long after he could have drawn a pension. He marked his 50th year on the job - at age 72 - still overseeing the four-man crew at Fire Station 112.

"This has given me a chance to do something meaningful with my life," Jones said in the 1998 Daily Breeze interview marking his anniversary. "When the Fire Department shows up, everybody has their arms out and is glad to see you. There's nothing wrong with making doughnuts, but I'm really happy doing what I do."

After graduating from Mount Carmel High School in Los Angeles in 1944, Jones enlisted in the Navy and trained as a radar technician. Stationed on Guam, he repaired and refurbished the electronics on many of the U.S. fighting ships and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, American Area Campaign Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal.

Jones enrolled at Northrop Aeronautical Institute after he was discharged at 21, planning to become an aeronautical engineer.

But his plans soon changed.

"This high school chum of mine came over to the house one day driving a new 1947 Plymouth and wearing a new suit," Jones said in the 1998 Daily Breeze interview. "And it was a weekday. And he had money in his pocket."

When his buddy said he worked for the Fire Department, Jones asked where he could sign up.

His first assignment was at Fire Station 22 at Main and Vernon streets in central Los Angeles. He later served at stations in San Pedro, Wilmington and Terminal Island.

He was promoted to captain in 1961.

Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino adjourned Thursday's council meeting in Jones' honor.

Jones is survived by seven sons, Dory, Stancil III, William, Gregory, Jeffery, John and Westlie; five daughters, Janine, Mary, Elizabeth, Stacey and Laura; two stepchildren, Sheila and Rob; a sister, Beverly Cantonwine; 40 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. today at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, San Pedro, followed by burial at Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes.

The family asks that any donations be made to the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society - Harbor Museum in San Pedro (www.lafdmuseum.org or call 323-464-2727).
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:18
BigDaddyFire BigDaddyFire is offline
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Default Re: Stancil G. Jones, Los Angeles City Fire Department

WOW! Thats one helluva guy!!!
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