William A. Layden, 98

The Baltimore Sun

William A. "Doc" Layden, a retired pharmacist and country club founder, died Monday of kidney and heart failure at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The longtime Pikesville resident was 98.

Mr. Layden was born in Baltimore and raised on Whittier Avenue near Druid Hill Park. He was a 1928 graduate of City College and earned his degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 1933.

He managed a Read Drug & Chemical Co. drugstore on Linden Avenue before establishing Layden's Pharmacy in the 2100 block of W. Baltimore St., in 1939.

"During World War II, he wasn't drafted into the Army because his business was considered essential to the neighborhood," said his wife of 40 years, the former Elaine E. Goldberg. "He continued operating the drugstore at that location until the 1968 riots, when he closed it."

Thereafter, Mr. Layden worked at the now-closed Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Woodlawn.

"He worked until he was 91 and then retired," Mrs. Layden said.

Mr. Layden was an avid golfer and a founder of Chestnut Ridge Country Club in Lutherville. He also liked playing bridge and pitch.

He was an Orioles and Ravens fan.

Mr. Layden was a member for 40 years of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Also surviving are a son, Edward A. Layden of Baltimore; a stepson, Ross Engel of Raleigh, N.C.; and a grandson. His first wife, the former Frieda Morstein, died in 1964; and a stepdaughter, Maura Chinich, died in 1998.

Graveside services were held Tuesday.

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