Thomas Alfred Jones, 69, a former Marine who retired as a naturalist and Civil War historian from the Fairfax County Park Authority, died of a pulmonary embolism Aug. 27 at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. He lived in Fairfax.
Mr. Jones worked at Fairfax County's park authority from 1988 to 1993. His career also included 28 years of active duty as a Marine and eight years in special intelligence work.
Mr. Jones, a Boston native, joined the Marines in 1952 and served two tours in Vietnam. While stationed in the Philippines, he was a cartoonist on the base newspaper, delivering Marine Corps humor. Multiple sclerosis prompted him to retire in 1980 as a master gunnery sergeant.
From 1980 to 1984, he worked for the Department of Energy in the Office of International Affairs as a special intelligence officer. For the next four years, he was a special intelligence analyst for European concerns with the Department of the Army's Intelligence and Security Command.
Mr. Jones graduated with an associate's degree from Northern Virginia Community College.
He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8469 in Fairfax and sat on the church council at Bruen Chapel United Methodist Church in Fairfax. He wrote articles and poetry for the church newsletter. He also painted oil landscapes and drew cartoons for pleasure.
He was active in the National Rifle Association and participated in small-bore shooting programs.
Mr. Jones surprised family and friends when he took on a new persona and became Mr. Beans, a hobo clown, and performed at area hospitals for five years. He was a member of Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Janice P. Jones of Fairfax; a son, Thomas S. Jones of Towson, Md.; two sisters; a brother; and two grandchildren.