R. Carleton Sharretts Jr., a tax lawyer who was active in bar association affairs, bred sheep and in retirement learned to play the organ, died of emphysema yesterday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 78.
Before opening his own law firm in Baltimore in 1957, Mr. Sharretts worked for 14 years for the law firm of Wright, Robinson and Dowell, where he became a partner.
In 1938 -- while a law student at the University of Baltimore -- he worked as a law clerk under Chief Judge Samuel K. Dennis of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. He stayed on for four years after receiving his degree in 1939.
After his admission to the Maryland Bar in 1939, Mr. Sharretts became president of the Junior Bar Association.
A year later, he was appointed chairman of the Continuing Legal Education Committee for both the Baltimore City and the Maryland State Bar Associations.
In the 1940s, he was elected vice president of the Maryland State Bar Association.
In 1955, he was elected by members of the Maryland Bar to the post of state delegate to the American Bar Association's House of Delegates, the policy-making group of the ABA.
During his three-year term, he coordinated Maryland's first Law Day USA, established in the late 1950s.
Mr. Sharretts also was actively involved in a 1956 effort by the American Bar Association to boost its membership by 50,000. The same year he was named general chairman of the ABA's annual meetings for the Mid-Atlantic region.
Mr. Sharretts was a 1934 graduate of McDonogh School. He attended Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va.
In 1951, Mr. Sharretts acquired the 123-acre Sparks Family Farm, where he bred Corriedale sheep until the mid-1960s. He entered his pure-bred sheep in the Maryland State Fair and won many awards.
At 70, he bought a home organ and took lessons once a week. He became a proficient player and was often asked by friends and relatives to give informal concerts.
In 1939, he and Barbara Doty were married. Mrs. Sharretts died in 1990.
Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.
He is survived by three daughters, Jane S. Channell of Parkton, ** Barbara Kerr and Joyce Lindoff, both of Bel Air; a son, R. C. Sharretts III of Monkton; and seven grandchildren.