Tacoma Waterfront marks passing of Maritime leader

The Port of Tacoma Commission, staff and the Tacoma waterfront community are mourning the loss of Reed Jones, a maritime leader and visionary.

Jones, who passed away on Jan. 7, at the age of 87, joined the Port as Sales Manager in 1962. At the time, the Port had no regular steamship service. Jones earned a reputation for attracting enough cargo — everything from frozen foods to crude rubber — that steamship lines soon competed to establish regular Tacoma services.

Reed was promoted to Director of Trade and Industrial Development and Terminal Manager. In 1976, he was named the Port’s Deputy Executive Director, where he played a key role in attracting Tacoma’s first major container carrier — Sea-Land Service, Inc.

Reed was also known for cultivating strong labor relations. “Reed believed that labor and management could have their differences, but not at the expense of customers,” said Port of Tacoma Commissioner Dick Marzano, also a member of Tacoma ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) Local 23. “He helped us all to understand that the Port of Tacoma could be something more than it was, and his vision helped build our Port into what it is today.”

“Reed Jones lived and breathed the shipping and transportation industry,” said Port of Tacoma Commissioner Clare Petrich. “There was nobody more dedicated to the success of the Port of Tacoma than Reed. He will be deeply missed.”

After 21 years of service, Reed retired from the Port in 1983 to spend time with his wife and enjoy boating in Puget Sound.

After retiring from the Port, Reed joined International Transportation Service, Inc. (ITS), the parent organization of Husky Terminal and Stevedoring. By 1985, Reed was named to the ITS Board of Directors, a position he held until his death.

Reed is survived by his wife, Helen, four children, nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Memorials are suggested to be made to St. Luke’s Church or to Dogs for the Deaf, 10175 Wheeler Road, Central Point, Ore., 97502.