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DIA Volunteer
DIA Volunteer

Volunteer Award Winner:
Josephine (Jo) Jones

Gallery Information - 2005

December 2005

The Gallery Information Committee of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is pleased to announce Jo Jones as its Gallery Information Volunteer of the Year.

Jones became involved with the DIA when she attended a course on Western Civilization taught by Michael Farrell in 1981. During a class trip to Toledo one of the members of the class, who also happened to be a DIA volunteer, encouraged Jones to volunteer as well. When Jones first began volunteering as a Gallery Aide (now Gallery Information) they were assigned different galleries in which they would write down all of the works of art. She found this experience very educational and a good way to learn about the art.

When the DIA began recruiting volunteer ushers in 2003, Jones signed up for that too and regularly volunteers several times a month in addition to her regular Thursday morning Gallery Information shift. Last year she contributed 249 hours of service to the DIA and is on track to do the same this year. Those numbers are impressive for any volunteer, much less from a woman who is a very young 85-years old. Jones is looking forward to receiving her 25-year pin next year.

Jones was born in northern Italy near Cortina, north of Venice. She and her family moved to Pennsylvania when she was two years old. Her father was a coalminer and traveled between Pennsylvania and Ohio for work. He was killed in the mines when Jones was five years old. Her mother then moved Jones and her younger brother and sister to Detroit in 1927. She had heard about the booming auto industry and supported her family by taking in boarders who worked in the factories at Ford Motor Company.

Jones’s first job was working at the MichCon service department. She later held jobs during the war at General Motors and Chrysler as a secretary and also worked at Ford Motor Company as an aircraft inspector. She was married in 1953 and had two children, Eric and Sara. Her husband was a salesman and they moved several times throughout the Midwest within a 13-year period. Her two granddaughters, Rachel and Lauren, are the loves of her life.

When she isn’t volunteering at the DIA, Jones enjoys golfing, bowling, reading, watching movies, opera, ballet, symphonies and art. She is a member of the Art Association of Mount Clemens and the Michigan Oriental Art Society. In addition to being involved in a number of activities, she also works part time three days a week. The DIA is very lucky and honored to salute Jo Jones as the Gallery Information Volunteer of the Year.

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