John Henry Carton, music teacher


John Henry Carton, a teacher of music theory at Peabody Conservatory, died Saturday of cancer at his Mount Vernon home. He was 61.

For 25 years, the Woburn, Mass., native taught music education and later music theory at Peabody through this year's spring semester.

"He liked theory. He liked the structure of music," said his wife, the former Stella Center. They would have celebrated their 41st anniversary today.

Mr. Carton grew up with music, and played a church organ. The keyboard was his primary instrument.

"He enjoyed Bach, Beethoven and Kurt Weill," Mrs. Carton said.

Mr. Carton taught music his entire career. Before coming to Peabody, he supervised music education at Ayer Public Schools in Massachusetts from 1955 to 1964 and at Mount Anthony Union Public School District in Bennington, Vt., from 1964 to 1968.

He graduated from Woburn High School in 1951 and earned a bachelor's degree in music in 1955 from the University of Lowell in Lowell, Mass. He received a master's degree in 1969 from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During his graduate studies, Mr. Carton taught for a year at Sandwich High School at Cape Cod, Mass.

He was a member of the Baltimore Philatelic Society and the Emerald Isle Club.

He directed theater for schools and theater groups in Massachusetts and Maryland, including the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Peabody Preparatory School.

She recalled that her husband used to tell an apocryphal story to friends that people climbed up the candelabra tower on Television Hill and slid down the guy wires to keep them clean.

"He was Irish. He had to make a good story better," she said.

A memorial Mass is to be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church, 120 N. Front St., Baltimore 21202. A reception will follow on the second floor of the Peabody.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Carton is survived by a daughter, Laura Sessions of Columbia; three sons, Stephen E. Carton of Gaithersburg, Richard M. Carton of Parkton and Robert W. Carton of Baltimore; a sister, Jean Carton of Woburn; and six grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Peabody Conservatory, 1 E. Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore 21202 or to the Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center, 301 St. Paul Place, Baltimore 21202.

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