The Rev. Theodore M. Heyburn, a retired Redemptorist priest who led churches in Baltimore and Annapolis, died Nov. 12 of complications from diabetes at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. He was 77.
Father Heyburn, the son of a longshoreman and a homemaker, was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.
He was in the eighth grade when he began religious studies at St. Mary's Seminary in North East, Pa., and then entered the Redemptorist novitiate at Ilchester. He professed his vows in 1955 and made his final profession in 1958.
Father Heyburn, who was known as Ted, was ordained into the priesthood at Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary in Esopus, N.Y.
His first assignment was pastor of St. Gerard Roman Catholic Church in Lima, Ohio, where he remained until 1972, when he was named pastor of St. James Roman Catholic Church in Baltimore.
From 1978 to 1985, he served as assistant pastor of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Annapolis. He served at Our Lady of Help Roman Catholic Church from 1985 to 1993 and then Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City for three years.
Father Heyburn was pastor of St. Christopher's Roman Catholic Church on Kent Island from 1996 to 1999, when he returned to St. Mary's in Annapolis.
In declining health, Father Heyburn lived at the Redemptorists' nursing-care facility in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., until 2009, when he moved to Stella Maris Hospice.
In 1986, Father Heyburn initiated a Memorial Day Mass while serving at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a tradition he later brought to St. Mary's.
Father Heyburn urged veterans and their families to attend the Mass, which was also open to non-Catholics, and to bring medals, uniforms and pictures that could be displayed.
"This is an important time for us," he told The Baltimore Sun in 2000.
"He was an energetic guy who was hard to keep up with," said Anne Maio, who first got to know Father Heyburn in Edgewater.
"People used to drop by the church parking lot on Saturdays just to see what was going on. He had what he called 'people-pleasing picnics,' cake-baking contests, volleyball tournaments, potlucks and sing-alongs," she said.
Father Heyburn enjoyed traveling by railroad and collecting model trains, which he often set up in the rectory.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary's, 109 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis.
Surviving are a brother, Frank Heyburn of Annapolis; a sister, Dorothy Barbone of Kingston, N.Y.; and several cousins.