Lawmakers who knew and served with former Prince George’s County Del. Christine M. Jones remember her as a selfless public servant who became a mentor to incoming delegates.
Jones, 83, died Saturday after suffering injuries in a fire at her Temple Hills home Jan. 24. The cause of the fire was under investigation fire officials said early this week.
A Texas native and career teacher, Jones represented District 26 in the House of Delegates from 1982 to 1994 and served as chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus from 1991 to 1992.
“Del. Christine Jones and I got to know each other serving together on the House Economic Matters Committee,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Dist. 30) of Annapolis in a statement Monday. “[She] was a dedicated legislator and always believed in strong constituent service. The Prince George’s community and the state have lost a passionate advocate for public education.”
Sen. Joanne Benson (D-Dist. 24) of Landover said Jones was a “marvelous” mentor when Benson entered the House of Delegates in 1991.
“Her word meant something here. She was highly respected,” Benson said, adding that Jones was “probably one of the most unselfish people that I have met since I’ve been in Annapolis.”
Jones emphasized the importance of standing behind a bill once you have said you’ll support it and that “the quickest way to lose credibility is to say one thing and do another,” Benson said.
Jones also was remembered for her warmth and cheerful demeanor. “I never heard her say a negative word about anyone,” Benson said. “She was always positive and upbeat.”
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), who began his first term in the House as Jones was concluding her last, said Jones’ commitment to education issues earned her a reputation as a devoted representative of her community.
“She was always a great mentor to many people here,” Baker said. “She's going to be sorely missed.”
Staff writers Holly Nunn and Daniel J. Gross contributed to this report.