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Keeping up with the Joneses

By Amanda McBride | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | November 30, 2017

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Going into the military was an option for Billy “Bruce” Jones but he chose to help his father run the family's auto-part business instead.

He had no idea that he would still have a rescue mission to complete. On April 27, 1975, through a mutual friend, he and Gayle Chitty met for a night on the town. Jones had tickets to see Elvis Presley and wanted to take Chitty.

What Jones didn’t know was Chitty lost her father and was going through a recent divorce. She had lost a lot of weight and could not eat a full meal.

Just as the waitress came to pick up their plates Jones noticed she had not eaten much. He instructed the waitress to leave the plate and told Chitty she was not leaving until she ate more. Chitty wanted to see Elvis so she tried to eat as much as she could.

“This man, I had never met before, cared enough about me to make me eat,” Chitty said.

Just five months later, Jones secured his target by marrying Chitty. Jones, who had two kids, made a vow to love Chitty and her own child. On Sept. 29, 1975, they became the Joneses.

Bruce and Gayle have been married for 42 years. They have also been co-workers for 20 of those years. The two have been a part of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany family since 1996.

They began under a contract that Bruce’s father had secured by supplying auto-parts to MCLB Albany’s Motor Pool. When his father secured the contract he allowed Bruce to run it by ordering necessary parts for the upkeep of the base vehicles.

Five years later, they lost their bid to another company. Due to their knowledge and work ethic within the business, they were asked by that company to stay and run the business for them.

Their job is very important because the parts help makes sure the base vehicles are running to their best ability. These vehicles serve as transportation for job errands and more, according to Jones.

“You would think it’s been hard, but it really hasn't. When we are here I'm the boss, but when we are home she’s the boss,” Bruce said.

Over the years Bruce and Gayle have had many trials and tribulations. Bruce was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2007, and also had bypass surgery in 2014.

“It was scary,” Gayle stated, “but this is business and we have always treated it as such.”

They continue to work through life’s ups and downs as much as possible. They said their respect for their co-workers and each other is what motivates them to continue through the bad days.

Bruce and Gayle said they have not had any problems relationship or work wise in their 42 years of marriage. They attribute this to constantly having fun together.

“We fit together like hand-in-glove," Bruce said. "We hunt together, we spend time with our grandchildren together. We have done this so long it wouldn’t feel right to do it any other way.”

The couple says they have truly been blessed to be able to live the life they are living. They have an appreciation for their job and their relationship.

"I don’t ever worry about where he is, or he me, because we understand each other need space,” said Gayle.

Bruce can be found every evening walking at the YMCA, while Gayle is home cooking and spending time with her grandson.

Their mission these days are to spend every moment they can, doing things that they love, with those they love.


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