James Grayson "Reds" Compton, a retired steamfitter and union official, died of prostate cancer Jan. 28 at his Upperco home. He was 81.
Mr. Compton was born in Baltimore and raised on Miles Avenue in the city's Remington neighborhood. He attended city public schools.
A lifelong sports fan, Mr. Compton was in his teens when he founded the Remington Boxing Club and the Remington Football League.
Mr. Compton, who worked as a steamfitter for more than 45 years, was business agent of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Local 486 at the time of his retirement in 1995.
In addition to his 12 years of service as business agent, Mr. Compton was actively involved in the union's Dollars Against Diabetes and Contractors and Unions Together organizations. He also had been a union counselor, executive board member and a trustee of the union's benevolence fund.
After moving to Reisterstown in 1962, he founded a community swim team in Country Club Estates and served as its coach for nine years.
An Upperco resident since 2004, Mr. Compton enjoyed collecting Colts memorabilia.
"He was an avid Colts fan and became a Ravens fan with some resistance," said a daughter, Eileen Compton-Little of Upperco.
Mr. Compton was a communicant of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Glyndon, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.
Also surviving are his wife of 58 years, the former Eileen E. Gangi; three other daughters, Donna M. Headley of Upperco, Patricia A. Compton of Baltimore and Evelyn Compton-Padham of Oak Ridge, N.J.; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.