Alexander K. Barton

The Baltimore Sun

Alexander Kirkland Barton, a retired Baltimore insurance executive and volunteer, died of prostate cancer Monday at the Blakehurst retirement community in Towson. He was 84.

Mr. Barton was born in Berkeley, Calif., and after the death of his father lived briefly in Sweden with his mother before they moved to Roland Park in 1929. He was a 1941 graduate of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., and earned his bachelor's degree in a wartime-accelerated program from Yale University in 1944.

He enlisted in the Marines Corps and served as an intelligence officer in Hawaii, Guam and China.

Mr. Barton subsequently worked for DuPont Co. in Wilmington, Del., and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. In 1949, he joined Warfield-Dorsey Co. Inc., a Baltimore insurance company.

In 1958, Mr. Barton and William B. Athey established Athey and Barton, an insurance brokerage firm. A decade later, he established Alexander Barton Inc., and was affiliated with his longtime friend, George Jobson, at W. T. Shackelford Co. He retired in 1982.

During the 1970s, Mr. Barton was president of the Baltimore Council of International Visitors, an organization that provides hospitality to foreign visitors and played a major role in welcoming the tall ships that visited the city as part of the nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976.

Mr. Barton had been president of the old Fight Blight Foundation that was established by developer James Rouse and the Greater Baltimore Committee to eradicate urban blight. He had volunteered at the Travelers Aid information desk at what is now Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and in the prison ministry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Annapolis.

Mr. Barton had a Rainbow sailboat, and was a former president of the National Rainbow Association. He was a founder of Leif Erickson Crafts, a company that imported and sold sailboats constructed in Sweden.

Five years ago, Mr. Barton donated his Swedish sloop Vindo to Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, an organization that provides sailing opportunities for the physically challenged.

Mr. Barton lived in Anne Arundel County's Sherwood Forest community from 1976 to 2001, when he moved to the Towson retirement community.

A memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, St. Paul Street and University Parkway.

Surviving are his wife of 41 years, the former Cary Lee Keen Collins; two sons, Michael C. Barton of Redwood City, Calif., and Ford C. Barton of Charlotte, N.C.; a daughter, Margaret B. West of Crozet, Va.; a stepson, Carville B. Collins of Baltimore; two half-brothers, Robert C. Love of Oakland, Calif., and James H. Love of Western Springs, Ill.; and seven grandchildren. An additional son, Alexander Kirkland Barton III, died in 1976. An earlier marriage to the former Nancy Carpenter ended in divorce.

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