Irvin N. Dashiells, a musician and retired jewelry salesman, died Monday of cancer at his home on Hartmont Road in the Catonsville area. He was 78.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Leroy M. and Russell C. Witzke funeral establishment, 1630 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville.
He retired in 1974 after many years of selling jewelry, which he would take to customers' homes. Earlier, he sold other goods door-to-door.
He taught music, played saxophone and lead a band since being certified while in his teens as a saxophone teacher by the Kaspar School of Music. Many of his early engagements were in speakeasies during Prohibition, he said.
Mr. Dashiells was born in Baltimore and educated at a predecessor of the Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School.
As a child, he played violin until he broke the instrument in an argument when he was 11 years old and his father replaced it with a saxophone, he said in an interview last spring.
He was the leader for many years of the Avalon Dance Orchestra and for about the last 15 years of the Charm City Orchestra. It has played at civic events such as the Flower Mart, at parties and charitable events and at senior centers and nursing homes.
After the Charm City Orchestra made several appearances at nursing homes, Mr. Dashiells, who often joked with the audience, wrote a tune the orchestra plays regularly, "Arthritis Rock."
He is survived by his wife, the former Marie M. Brinn; three sons, Irvin N. Dashiells Jr. of Key Largo, Fla., Frederick P. Dashiells of Baltimore and Terry A. Dashiells of Melbourne, Fla.; two daughters, Deborah Reddinger of Pasadena and Denise Kelehan Baltimore; a brother, Milton F. Dashiells of Baltimore, and several grandchildren.