Evelyn Bayne Denton, 91, musician

April 17, 2006

Evelyn Bayne Denton, a musician and daughter of one of Baltimore County's last blacksmiths, died of kidney failure April 10 at the Pickersgill Retirement Community in Towson. She was 91.

Dixie Bayne, as she was known to her family and friends, was born in Baynesville, where her father's family had settled in the 18th century.

Her father, James E. Bayne, operated the family's blacksmith shop, which stood for more than 125 years at the southeast corner of Joppa Road and Loch Raven Boulevard.

Her son, Lawrence M. Denton of Oxford, said his grandfather's shop and adjacent hardware store held a contract to sharpen all of Baltimore County's shovels and picks, and it became "a place where all the guys of that era would gather."

The shop closed in 1955.

Mrs. Denton graduated from Towson High School in 1931 and began work as a clerk for Butler Brothers Co. in Baltimore.

In 1936, she married Paul M. Denton of Baltimore. The couple settled in Towson.

"She was widely regarded as a gracious lady who lived her life with the glass half-full," her son said.

Mrs. Denton was an accomplished singer, pianist and organist, with perfect pitch. She played piano for several decades for the Sunday school at Towson United Methodist Church, where she was a member for 65 years.

In addition to serving on her church's administrative board, she was a board member for the Wesley Home, a residence for seniors on Rogers Avenue.

After her husband died in 1961, Mrs. Denton went to work full time for the Baltimore County Tax Assessment Office, where she served as a senior clerk in the tax assessment court.

After 20 years with the county, Mrs. Denton retired and began to travel with a group of friends, visiting many countries in Europe, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Bermuda.

Services were held Wednesday at the Towson United Methodist Church.

In addition to her son, she is survived by two other sons, Paul Douglas Denton of Westminster and Wesley B. Denton of Jarrettsville; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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