Carlyle Barton Jr., a former partner in the Baltimore law firm of Niles, Barton & Wilmer LLP who was active for many years in civic and philanthropic affairs, died Wednesday of cancer at his Poplar Hill home. He was 85.
Mr. Barton was born in Baltimore and raised in Ruxton. He was a 1940 graduate of Gilman School and earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1944.
He enlisted in the Army in 1944 and served in the Pacific. After the war, he remained in the Maryland National Guard, attaining the rank of captain.
After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law and passing the Maryland bar exam in 1949, he joined his father's law practice, which had been established in 1915 as Niles, Barton & Morrow.
In the early days of his career, Mr. Barton practiced maritime law. He then became a general practitioner before specializing in trusts and estate planning. Even though he retired in 1987, he remained of counsel.
"When you're a lawyer, you never really retire," said Robert F. Scholz, former Niles, Barton & Wilmer managing partner.
"He gave me my first assignment when I came here as a law clerk. He gave me a question, and I spent days researching it in the library. When I went back to him, he said, 'Wrong answer. Do it again,'" Mr. Scholz said. "I didn't like it at the time, but when I think of it now, it's rather hilarious."
Mr. Scholz described him as "a really nice guy who could at times be demanding" but "was well-respected and liked here."
"He came from an earlier generation of general practitioners, and I learned a lot from him," said Matthew L. Kimball, who joined the law firm in 1986.
"He was very good with people, and as a transactional lawyer, was really very adept at getting people to work together in difficult circumstances," he said.
Beginning in the early 1950s, Mr. Barton began immersing himself in civic and philanthropic affairs when he was elected president of the board of the Prisoners Aid Association of Maryland.
He had served as president of the Baltimore Mental Health Association and the Maryland Association for Mental Health. He was a former vice president of the National Mental Health Association and had been founder and first president of the Commerce & Industry Combined Health Appeal. Mr. Barton was a founder and first president of the Baltimore Community Foundation and had been involved with what became the Kennedy Krieger Institute from its earliest days. He later served as its secretary-counsel and president of its board of trustees.
He also had been a member of the board of Roland Park Country School and its finance committee for many years.
Mr. Barton was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, where he directed the annual giving program for many years.
The former Overhill Road resident, who had lived in Poplar Hill for more than 20 years, was an avid surf fisherman.
During the 1960s through the late 1980s, Mr. Barton maintained a summer home in Stone Harbor, N.J., where he indulged his passion for fishing.
He traveled over the beach in a yellow Jeep he named the "Janie D" outfitted with rods and reels and other fishing equipment. He also installed a civilian band radio, which allowed him to hear the chatter of other anglers, alerting him to where the fish were biting.
For years each autumn, Mr. Barton, his wife and several other couples made an annual trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where they fished for bluefish.
"This is what he loved to do," said his wife of 39 years, the former Mary Virginia "Jinx" Wilhelm-Lord.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at his church, 5603 N. Charles St.
Also surviving are a son, William C. Barton of Reisterstown; three stepdaughters, Virginia F. McKee of Charlottesville, Va., Ann O. Brezniak of Newton, Mass., and Charlotte Lord of St. Helena, Calif.; and five grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Ann Shirley Hart ended in divorce.