J. Frank Tarleton, who spent more than four decades in the catering business, died Monday at St. Joseph's Hospital of complications from a recent heart attack. The Kingsville resident was 64.
Born in Baltimore and raised in White Marsh, he was a 1958 graduate of Kenwood High School.
After graduating, he worked in the display department at the Sears and Roebuck store on North Avenue. In 1960, he joined Overlea Caterers as catering manager.
He joined the Army in 1963, serving in Vietnam as an administrative and operational clerk. He left the Army in 1965, attaining the rank of specialist.
After his military service, he returned to Overlea Caterers, where he created a division called Overlea Concessionaires, which catered events and trade shows at such venues as the 5th Regiment Armory and the Timonium fairgrounds.
Last year, he was named administrative vice president for Harbor Cruises, another division of Overlea Caterers.
"It was his joy to put a party together, work hard behind the scenes and see the smiles of the clients and guests as the event met their every expectation," said daughter Dar Pendergrass of Perry Hall. "He wanted everybody to have a smile on their face and be happy with the way everything was taken care of."
During his years as a caterer, he oversaw many weddings and anniversaries.
He "always added the special touch to the family occasions, setting a decorative table and displaying the food in a professional way," said his son, Jay Tarleton of Perry Hall.
Mr. Tarleton enjoyed playing the piano, gardening and decorating the family home and garden. He also liked to refinish antiques and family heirlooms.
"He was very artistic," said his wife of 34 years, the former Doris Akehurst.
Services were held Thursday at Camp Chapel United Methodist Church in Perry Hall, where he was a member.
In addition to his wife and two children, Mr. Tarleton is survived by a brother, J. Theodore Tarleton III of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.