Blair Lee Barton

Blair Lee Barton (Baltimore Sun / September 13, 2011)

Blair Lee Barton, a businesswoman who founded a Baltimore public relations and marketing firm, died Wednesday of a pulmonary embolism at her Roland Park home. She was 58.

The daughter of the president of Barton-Gillet Co. and a civic activist, Blair Lee Barton was born in Baltimore and raised in Roland Park.

After graduating in 1971 from the Bryn Mawr School, she earned a degree in art history in 1975 from Middlebury College. In 1979, she earned a master's degree in business from what is now Loyola University Maryland.

She began her business career after college working in marketing and sales for Barton-Gillet, a regional marketing and communications firm.

In 1986, Ms. Barton established her own firm, Barton Dame, and at her death was the company's president. She also managed several downtown commercial properties that she owned.

It was Ms. Barton's advocacy that eventually led to the elimination of male-only club membership at the Elkridge Club in North Baltimore, family members said.

Ms. Barton was also involved in several area philanthropic and charitable organizations.

"She enjoyed playing tennis, skiing and swimming," said her husband of 15 years, Randy Metcalfe, who is CEO of a private investment firm. "She also had a large collection of paintings by Greg Otto, a Baltimore artist."

The St. George's Road resident also enjoyed vacationing at West Virginia's Greenbrier resort, Palm Beach, Lake Placid, N.Y., and Santa Barbara, Calif.

Ms. Barton was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., Baltimore, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today.

Also surviving are a daughter, Priscilla Barton, an 8th-grader at Bryn Mawr School; her parents, David Walker Barton of Palm Beach; her mother, Meta Packard Barton of Delray Beach, Fla.; three sisters, Meta B. Patten of Wellesley, Mass., Taylor B. Smith of Amagansett, N.Y., and Emilie B. Kelly of Morrison, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com