Clarence Dyson, 85

The Baltimore Sun

Clarence Matthew Dyson, a former department store window designer who loved decorating his home and those of family members and friends for Christmas, died Sunday at ManorCare Woodbridge Valley in Catonsville. He was 85.

Mr. Dyson was born in Baltimore and raised on Carey Street. He attended Frederick Douglass High School until he enlisted in the Army during World War II.

A mail clerk, he served in the European Theater. After his discharge, he completed high school at Douglass.

From 1947 until he retired in 1977, he designed display windows for Hochschild Kohn department stores. He returned to work for the Baltimore County public schools, where he was a custodian for five years until he retired again in the early 1980s.

Mr. Dyson's artistic expertise was often sought by family and friends who asked him to decorate their holiday doors and Christmas trees.

He also loved jazz and was an accomplished dancer.

"He knew how to have a good time at a party," said his daughter, Linda S. Williams of Randallstown.

Mr. Dyson was a longtime member of ONOSE, a men's social club that held one social event a year to raise scholarship money for needy students.

"The black-tie fall festival was always the highlight of the year for him," his daughter said.

The longtime resident of Lynne Haven Drive in Baltimore, was married for 50 years to the former Odessa Williams, who had been secretary to the publisher of the Baltimore Afro American. She died in 2001.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today at New All Saints Roman Catholic Church, 4408 Liberty Heights Ave.

Also surviving are two grandsons.

Frederick N. Rasmussen

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