Titus Lee Spratley, 76, city firefighter for 32 years

January 29, 2003

Titus Lee Spratley, a retired city firefighter, died Saturday of complications from Alzheimer's disease at his Lauraville home. He was 76.

He had retired in 1987 after 32 years with the Baltimore Fire Department. He had served at Engine 11, initially at Patterson Park and Eastern avenues and later in the Bayview section of Southeast Baltimore.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Abbott Street, he attended Dunbar High School before being drafted into the Army. He served in the Pacific and was stationed in Japan after the war. After his discharge, he received his diploma from the Veterans Institute at Douglass High School.

Mr. Spratley was a member of the Vulcan Blazers and the city firefighters union, Local 734.

He was an avid Druid Hill Park tennis player -- dating to the days of racial segregation, when he played on the courts reserved for African-Americans.

Mr. Spratley, who was a tenor, was a member of the Olton Singing Society, a group named for the Oldtown neighborhood and whose members sang hymns, anthems and spirituals. He was also a member of the Great Hymns Choir.

He belonged to Faith Baptist Church, 833 N. Bond St., where services will begin at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow with a family visiting hour. He was the church's Sunday school superintendent and sang in its choir.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, the former Eula Mae Dobbins, a retired city Health Department nurse; a son, Titus J.D. Spratley; a daughter, Janet Generette; four sisters, Phoebe C. Webster, Delores E. Mack, Delvia A. Myers and Ardena M. Johnson, all of Baltimore; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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