Shirley S. Sunderland, 61, 'Pearl of South...

July 20, 1996

Shirley S. Sunderland, 61, 'Pearl of South Baltimore'

Shirley S. Sunderland, a Procter & Gamble Co. worker for 29 years and a singer known as the "Pearl of South Baltimore," died July 9 of a brain tumor at Harbor Hospital Center. She was 61.

She began working in 1964 as an assembly-line worker at Procter & Gamble's Locust Point plant, retiring as a safety inspector in 1993.

Mrs. Sunderland, a tall woman with red hair and green eyes, "always had a song in her heart," said a daughter, Terry Burton of Laurel. "She'd walk down the street singing and even sang in the grocery store while shopping."

"One day two ladies in the market couldn't remember how a certain song went -- and she sang the whole thing for them, right then and there."

Mrs. Sunderland's repertory ranged from popular songs to opera. She was a member for many years of the choir of St. Mary Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church and the Dundalk chapter of the Sweet Adelines.

Her voice so impressed teachers at the Peabody Conservatory that she was given a five-year scholarship and earned a certificate, said her daughter. Her favorite singers were opera's Joan Sutherland, jazz great Ella Fitzgerald and the multitalented Pearl Bailey.

Born Shirley Skalstad, she was a lifelong resident of South Baltimore and a graduate of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parochial School.

She was proud of her Norwegian ancestry, and in researching her family genealogy, she had located a number of relatives in Norway. She enjoyed singing traditional Norwegian songs and was president of Sons of Norway Lodge No. 215.

In accordance with her wishes, family members will spread some of her ashes in a Norwegian fjord.

A memorial mass will be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Mary Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, 1419 Riverside Ave., Locust Point.

In addition to Mrs. Burton, she is survived by her husband of 49 years, Roland H. Sunderland; a son, Mike Sunderland of Baltimore; another daughter, Beth White of Baltimore; her mother, Theresa Skalstad of Catonsville; a brother, John Skalstad of Cambridge; two sisters, Regina Meyers of Owings Mills and Nancy Young of Brooklyn Park; four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Donald L. Byrne, 68, fastener company executive

Donald L. Byrne, a retired screw and bolt company executive, died July 10 of a heart attack at his Timonium residence. He was 68.

Mr. Byrne, who spent his entire career in the industrial fastener business, went to work in 1951 for Pittsburgh Screw & Bolt Co. In 1973, he was sent to Baltimore to restore the operations of Maryland Bolt & Nut Co., a Mount Washington business that had been destroyed a year earlier by Hurricane Agnes.

He eventually bought the company and was its president until he sold it in 1989. Today, the site at Falls Road and Smith Ave., is the location of Fresh Fields market.

In recent years, he was a consultant to A&A Bolt Co.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he began studying at the University of Georgia until he enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1951 from Washington & Jefferson College.

He was a trustee of Towson Presbyterian Church, was active in the Homeowners Association of Valleywood at Five Farms and was a director of the homeowners association of Schooner Ridge in Duck, N.C.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. July 27 at Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, the former Mary Grace Bayne; two sons, Bradley Byrne of Timonium, and Bryan Byrne of Raritan, N.J.; two daughters, Dawn Byrne of Washington, D.C., and Maura Steele of San Jose, Calif.; three grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren.

Clement Davis, 78, truck driver, baseball fan

Clement Davis, a longtime truck driver and baseball fan -- especially of sandlot ball in his East Baltimore community -- died Wednesday of cancer at his home in the 2600 block of Beryl Ave. He was 78.

Mr. Davis moved to Baltimore in 1948 from his native Wilkes County, Ga., and began work for the Yellow Freight trucking company, making deliveries throughout the mid-Atlantic region. He retired in 1986.

In the 1950s, he organized and financed a sandlot baseball team for neighborhood youths. Much of the money came out of his pocket; he earned more by selling candy door-to-door.

"He was one of those old-school guys who loved to see the young kids doing things, and he took an active interest in them," said his son, Del. Clarence "Tiger" Davis of Baltimore.

Mr. Davis was a loyal Orioles fan, electrician, auto mechanic and inventor. In the 1930s, he invented a bicycle with a turn signal and stop light, but never patented the devices, his son said.

Services are scheduled for 6: 30 p.m. tomorrow at St. Paul Baptist Church, 3101 The Alameda in Northeast Baltimore.

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