Richard J.B. Harbin, 77, interior designer, collector

April 24, 2004

Richard J.B. Harbin, an interior designer and collector, died of lung and bone cancer April 17 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 77 and was a longtime Towson resident.

Mr. Harbin was born in Washington and raised in the Stoneleigh section of Baltimore County. After graduating from Calvert Hall College High School in 1945, he served in the Navy for several years as a sonar specialist at Newport, R.I.

He was a 1950 graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts.

Mr. Harbin began his career as an interior designer with Karl M. Graf Interiors and later worked for Stewart & Co. During the 1970s, he and his wife, the former Dorothy E. Jamison, owned and operated Harbin House Interiors in Reisterstown.

After closing the business, he was employed as a designer for Garon's Ethan Allen Galleries. At the time of his death, he was a consultant for Shofers Furniture in South Baltimore.

Mr. Harbin collected lead toy soldiers, antique furniture and books. He was also an accomplished floral designer and teacher.

He attended St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Wednesday.

In addition to his wife of 50 years, Mr. Harbin is survived by a daughter, Lisa B. Van Bavel of Parkville; two brothers, Frank Harbin of Hampstead and Edwin E. Harbin of Sparks; a sister, Mary Jane "Puddy" Bradley of Dunwoody, Ga.; and four grandchildren.

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