Oliver `Al' Bayne

[Age 89] The welder started a clown club that marched in parades.

October 21, 2007

Oliver "Al" Bayne, a welder, blacksmith and founder of a group of clowns who marched in Baltimore parades, died Wednesday of complications from a stroke at a nursing home in Taneytown. He was 89.

A resident of the Hampden neighborhood for most of his life, Mr. Bayne worked for Bethlehem Steel for about 15 years in the 1940s and 1950s.

He then went to work as a blacksmith and railing manufacturer at the former Maryland Steel Products Co. in Baltimore.

In the 1970s, he and his wife, Dorothy, and friends and neighbors created the "Clown Club of Hampden," said a son, Doug Bayne, 59, a custodian who lives in Carroll County.

They marched in the Hampden Christmas parade and performed at events for children. "They had a good time," said his son. "He'd get dressed up in a gold jacket with a big red top hat, and he carried a big hammer that would squeak when you hit something."

A native of Baltimore, Mr. Bayne was deaf in one ear, and so could not serve in World War II.

After the war, he started working at Bethlehem Steel.

He had four boys with his first wife, Irene Quinn, who died at age 43 in 1962.

Then he married Dorothy Welling, who died several years ago.

Funeral services were Friday.

In addition to his son, survivors include his other sons, James Bayne of Glen Burnie, Eugene Bayne of Baltimore and Oliver Bayne Jr.; and three stepchildren.

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