Piecing It Together Piecing It Together for Marie Jones

In our PIT stop features, we assemble additional pieces of the puzzle. Readers are able to learn more about the mill, its employees and the Hespeler community at large.

Marie Jones started her working career at Dominion Woollens and Worsteds at the tender age of 15.  The youngest child of Albert and Emma Jones, Marie moved with her parents and 3 of her 5 siblings (Margaret, Irene and George) from the farm on Pinebush Road to Rose Avenue in Silver Heights in Hespeler.

While the 2nd World War was raging and the Jones family limited for money, Marie was challenged with finding employment to be able to contribute to family income.  With Marie’s determination and zest for life, DWW answered her call.  Starting at first on the factory floor, she then moved into the cafeteria which she enjoyed immensely.  She welcomed the interaction with co-workers, many who became life-long friends.  Even though the world was in a difficult place, she would often reminisce about the antics that took place between the executives, office staff and mill workers, creating camaraderie and a level playing field for all.

During her time outside of the Mill, Marie enjoyed dancing, singing in the Lutheran Church choir, playing cards, bowling and spending time with her friends.  She had a close relationship with her sisters and enjoyed many backyard barbecues with lots of laughter and shared memories.

Marie Jones and Dorothy Read

A 15-year old Marie (left) poses for an image in the D. W. & W News, March 1942

We absolutely loved this photo so much that we hung it in our cafeteria for many years. Here it can be seen whilst we celebrate Chris Linder’s 80th birthday and 62-year employment history.

Chris Linder Birthday Party

Marie Jones

Young Marie (centre) working in the lunchroom.

Fred Bleich, Marie Bleich (Jones) and daughters

Fred and Marie with Donna, Gwen and Sheri. 

Once the war was over, Marie met Fred Bleich (a Hespeler boy returning from service) at a local dance.  Love quickly developed and Fred and Marie married after a year of courting at the Jones home in Silver Heights in June of 1947.   By this time, they both worked at the Stamped & Enamel Ware and Fred was also the Captain of the Hespeler Volunteer Fire Department.  After 7 years of marriage, the couple welcomed 3 daughters in 8 years.  (Donna Hopcraft, Gwen Kennedy and Sheri Gamble).  Tragically, Fred lost his battle with cancer in early 1970, leaving Marie to raise 3 young girls on her own.

Fred was active in the Hespeler community.

Fred Bleich Volunteer Fire Brigade

Fred Bleich Arena Commission

Marie moved to the Kitchener area and spent many happy years in retail, ending her career at the Big V Pharmacy on King Street.  She went on to enjoy an active retirement filled with family travels to Alberta, Nova Scotia, Florida to name a few.  She had many friends and spearheaded many adventures, filled with laughter and good times.

Marie Jones

Marie Jones

Marie Bleich (Jones) – March 27, 1923 – December, 2011

We are happy for the time you spent with us at Dominion Woollens Marie. We are thrilled to see you had a long life and raised a great family. May you rest in peace!