Janet Caslow, Baltimore booster and advocate, dies

Janet Caslow — known around Baltimore for her community work and youth outreach — died April 12 of cancer. She was 66.

Ms. Caslow founded Port Fest Baltimore and was a volunteer coordinator at the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

She was known around the city and Baltimore County for her work with various organizations, including the Baltimore National Heritage Area, and as a strong advocate for Baltimore’s ports, founding the Baltimore Star-Spangled Sailabration in 2012.

Alex Caslow — her 36-year-old son — said his mother was one who preached empathy and practiced it until her death.

He said that while she was in the hospital before she died, a chaplain came to lead the room in a prayer.

But it was not a prayer for the 66-year-old.

“It was a prayer of ‘I hope nobody else has to go through this,’ ” Mr. Caslow said.

Ms. Caslow’s son said she had a passion for connecting the area’s youth to opportunities at the Inner Harbor.

In 2012, she was the spokeswoman for Baltimore National Heritage Area Association as part of a trip to bring middle school-aged children to the harbor to teach them about the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 and the area’s history.

Her son said Ms. Caslow wanted to expose city children who might come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to the history of the city’s ports and the opportunities they afford.

“She was one of those people who tries to be everything to everyone, and she kind of succeeded,” he said, adding that she wanted the city’s children to know “there’s more than just their neighborhood.”

“Everything that she did was either trying to exude fun or love and that’s it,” he added.

Ms. Caslow is survived by Alex and his wife, K.C. Caslow; her son Robert Caslow and his wife, Stacy Caslow; her brother Ron Belbot and his wife, Kay Belbot; and her grandchildren, Helena Caslow, Zoe Caslow, Scarlett Caslow and Zac Caslow.

The family will hold a private service.

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