Dr. Herman Baylus, 88, operated medical practice in rowhouse for 5 decades

March 07, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. Herman Baylus, who practiced family medicine in a Southwest Baltimore rowhouse for nearly five decades, died Monday of complications from a stroke at his Pikesville home. He was 88 and previously lived in Mount Washington.

Born in Baltimore, the fifth of seven sons, he grew up on Reisterstown Road and was a 1934 City College graduate. He earned degrees in pharmacology and medicine at the University of Maryland in 1939. He interned at Columbia Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Returning to Baltimore in 1940, Dr. Baylus bought a corner rowhouse at Wilkens Avenue and Gilmor Street, and opened an office. He was called away during World War II, when he became an Army physician and served in England.

After the war's end, he returned and continued his practice until retiring in 1992. Remembered as a neighborhood doctor who made house calls and delivered babies at home, he filled the walls of his office with photos of those he had brought into the world. He made his way through Southwest Baltimore, often accompanied by his nurse, Charlotte Sarbaugh, whom he married in 1957. She died in 2001.

"He was ultraconscientious," said Dr. Oscar Hartman, a retired obstetrician and a medical school classmate who lives in Sarasota, Fla. "He had an enormous practice. He had patients sitting on the steps going up to his second floor when the chairs ran out."

Dr. Baylus arrived at his office before dawn most days and opened his doors at 6 a.m. to accommodate the needs of the neighborhood, where many people worked shifts and could not get off for medical appointments during the day.

"If you got to his office before 10 a.m. and signed in, you would be seen that day. There was no appointment necessary. There were downstairs and an upstairs waiting rooms. He did evening hours and weekends, too," said a son, Adam Baylus of Pikesville. "He believed in doing as much as you can for as many as you can."

His son said his father liked the neighborhood and its residents. "It had the feel of a community, and it was a no-hassle place. He had deep roots there because he had delivered generations of children. And he liked the fact he was so accepted."

In his free time, Dr. Baylus enjoyed ballroom dancing and did portrait photography. He was an accomplished billiards player and won the President's Cup while playing golf at the Chestnut Ridge Country Club.

Services are private.

In addition to his son, survivors include another son, Eric Baylus of Pikesville; three daughters, Tamara Baylus and Abigail Baylus, both of Becket, Mass., and Donica Baylus of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; and four grandsons.

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