Samuel Leo Dutton, who founded his own moving business and once transported the Johns Hopkins library, died of congestive heart failure Saturday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. He was 80 and lived in Northwood.
He was the 10th of the 13 children born to John and Ollie Dutton, who lived on Boone Street in Waverly.
He attended Baltimore City public schools and at age 16 took a job with a neighbor, Beotria Oglesby, who had a moving business, Oglesby Transfer, which operated throughout Waverly and Northeast Baltimore. Family members said Mr. Dutton learned the moving business from his neighbor, and when Mr. Oglesby died, he bought the business and formed a new firm, Dutton Moving & Storage.
His son, Leo Dutton of Baltimore, said his father began doing small jobs at the Johns Hopkins University before he was given his first large one, moving the books from the old Gilman Hall library to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library in 1970.
"That job took all summer," his son said.
He went on to be called upon to move offices at the university and hospital and their affiliates, and at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Sheppard Pratt Hospital, and the Broadmead retirement community.
"He moved my office a couple of times," said Hopkins University spokesman Dennis O'Shea. "He did such a great job I hired him to move my own possessions at my home. Mr. Dutton's trucks were a familiar sight on the campus. He had a reputation for being totally conscientious. He hired experienced crews."
"My father believed in honesty first," his son said of his employees. "He interviewed before hiring them and taught them on the job. His clients trusted him. They didn't have to watch. They handed him the paperwork and he'd do it."
He serviced commercial as well as residential moving and used the motto, "We take the worry out of moving."
Mr. Dutton was always active with his family and church community.
He was a lover of sports. As a teenager, he pitched for the Y Eagles Negro League baseball team at Druid Hill Park. He also attended the old International League Orioles games on 29th Street near his home and later at Memorial Stadium.
He formed The Bench Warmers Social Club for friends who lived in Waverly and Wilson Park. They gathered together on Sunday to enjoy televised games. He was a fan of the Colts and Ravens as well.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Matthews United Methodist Church, 416 E. 23rd St. Mr. Dutton had sung in the church quartet, the Gospel Comforters, and performed at other churches throughout the state. He was also a past president of the Methodist Men and a member of the trustee board.
In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 60 years, the former Alva Elois Taylor; another son, Donald Dutton of Baltimore; five daughters, Theresa Dutton of Baltimore, Darlene Wiggins of Philadelphia, Cynthia Shearrill of Abingdon, Crystal Anderson of Forest Hill and Jacqueline Dutton of Baltimore; a sister, Carrie Bowers of Baltimore; nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.