THE RICH HISTORY of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers will be known long into the future, because Boilermaker and artist Charles Jones brought it to life through his work as Director of the Boilermakers History Preservation Department. Jones passed away April 3, 2020 after a sudden and brief battle with cancer.
“Charles well lived and loved the Boilermaker trade. He epitomized what it means to be a craftsman,” said International President Newton B. Jones, who is Charles Jones’ brother. “He had a unique combination of hands-on skill as a tradesman blended into his talent as an artist. He was a master at bringing our history to life and transforming Boilermaker pride into incredible works of art.”
Charles Jones began working in field construction on permit in 1969 and was a member of Local 29 (Boston). He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western Carolina State University in 1973.
As Director of the Boilermakers History Preservation Department, he successfully undertook the massive project to collect, organize and safeguard tens of thousands of artifacts, documents, photos and other items from the Brotherhood’s deep history—some of the items dating back to 1880. Under his leadership, the department designed a museum at International headquarters, created an online museum, created—and made by hand—uniquely stunning awards and sculptures, designed striking visual displays for Boilermaker conventions and conferences, and shepherded the poignant films that so powerfully tell the Boilermaker story.
“Those who knew Charles or experienced the gift of his work understand well the indelible impact of his infinite infectious kindness, as well as his artistic skill and passion,” said President Newton Jones. “His legacy, and that of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, will live long into the future because of the beautiful original artwork he created and the great care he took to preserve and curate the history of our organization.”
A tribute page to Charles Jones, including a gallery of his work, is available at https://boilermakers.org/about/history/charles-jones-artist.