Elton L. Adams

December 22, 1993|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Staff Writer

Elton L. Adams, a retired chauffeur, died Saturday of a heart attack at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 93.

For nearly 70 years, he lived in a house in Lutherville that his father purchased on Lincoln Avenue off of West Seminary

Avenue. He was the second oldest resident in the black community there.

Born in Riderwood, he moved as a child to Lutherville where his father, who had relocated from the Eastern Shore, owned several houses. He worked for many years as a gardener and landscaper in Ruxton and Riderwood.

In Riderwood, he worked on farms and cut grass with mowers that were pulled by teams of mules or horses.

Marie Jackson, 93, who lives in the neighborhood on School Lane and grew up with Mr. Adams, said, "We went to school together through the sixth grade in the little schoolhouse which was built in 1909 and is at the end of the lane. Oh, those were wonderful days."

As a chauffeur, Mr. Adams worked for many prominent families in Ruxton, Monkton and Dulaney Valley. He retired in 1979.

"He was very much respected and loved by the families he worked for. They just loved him," said Mrs. Jackson. "Whenever I wanted to go somewhere and I didn't have a car, he'd always take me. No was a word that wasn't in his vocabulary."

"Elton was an interesting man who was born and reared in a conservative community," said Carlyle Barton Jr., a lawyer and Roland Park resident.

Mr. Barton's father, Carlyle Barton Sr., a lawyer who founded Niles, Barton, Gans & Markell, hired him in 1936 as a chauffeur.

"He was a first-class gentleman who not only drove my father and mother but also took care of the grass and trees at my father's Dulaney Valley home. He worked for us until my mother died in 1969," Mr. Barton said.

"Nothing would stop him -- rain, sleet or snow -- he'd always be there," Mr. Barton said.

"He was a great storyteller," remembered a daughter, Dorothy Beard of Baltimore. "He would tell us stories about being up in the country when he worked on farms and having the team of mules run off."

Services were set for 7 p.m. today at Edgewood United Methodist Church, 1434 Bellona Ave., Lutherville, with interment tomorrow in Pleasant Rest Cemetery.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, the former Hilda M. Sterrett of Monkton; three sons, Bernard Adams of Lutherville, Robert Adams of Baltimore and Purnell Sterrett of England; two other daughters, Gladys Bentley of Lutherville and Eunis Briscoe of Baltimore; two sisters, Mabel Adams of Lutherville and Gertrude Jackson of Baltimore; 16 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

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