The following was taken from a IAMPETH Newsletter of 1997 and was reprinted from the Spring 1996 Newsletter as a Memoriam.
A gentleman in every sense of the word, Travis Jones, of Birmingham, Alabama, is one of IAMPETH's most loved members. Born in 1907, his love of lettering began at an early age; an age when penmanship was thriving and its students worked tirelessly toward perfection of their skills.
Travis held several jobs before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While serving in the Pacific, he supplemented his income by lettering towels and T-shirts for his shipmates. This was the beginning of his commercial lettering endeavors.
After the war, he returned to Birmingham and wedded Sallie Mae, to whom he has been married 53 years. He began working for the L and N Railroad in several capacities, and his love of lettering continued to grow. He started teaching calligraphy and lettering in the evenings and on weekends to friends and neighbors who expressed interest in the art. He soon found himself in demand to prepare resolutions for local banks and other institutions in the Birmingham area. After his retirement from the railroad in 1972,
Travis went full time with his commercial work and teaching.
For over 50 years, Travis taught lettering courses at local schools,
and almost everyone involved in the field has either studied with him or
with one of his students. As a result of his students desiring further
educational opportunities, Travis Jones founded the local guild, Les
Enlumineurs, in the early 1980s. Through the encouragement of Roy
Manley, a long time member of IAMPETH, Travis joined IAMPETH
(International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of
Handwriting) in the late 1960s. After that, he presented many workshops
and shared his wisdom and insights with the members, and served as president of the association. He was instrumental in encouraging our current members from the Birmingham area to join the association and in 1993, the Convention held in Birmingham was, appropriately, dedicated to him.
Travis Jones was loved by all, and was one of the kindest and
most patient men you would ever meet. Along with his wife Sallie
Mae, lettering was his passion in life. We were fortunate to have had
his oversight and talent with us.