Donald Eugene Dutton, the co-owner of a moving firm, whose work experience included moving some 300 pianos at the Peabody Institute and the Johns Hopkins University library, died July 19 at his White Marsh home after a brief but unspecified illness. He was 69.
Born in Baltimore and raised in the 2600 block of Boone St. in Waverly, he was the son of Samuel Leo Dutton and his wife, Alva Elois Taylor.
He attended Baltimore city schools and was a 1970 graduate of Baltimore City College. He was a member of the City College Alumni Association and met for a monthly fellowship breakfast with his classmates.
Family members said he spent his childhood on Boone Street and played baseball and football in the community. He was given the nickname “Little Duey” and “Bones” by some of his lifelong friends. The family resided in the community for many years, and his father attended Orioles games at the old Oriole Park on 29th Street, which burned in 1944.
Mr. Dutton worked alongside family members and initially was a truck driver for Commerce Distributors.
“He then joined Dutton Moving and Storage. Donald remained dedicated to the moving industry for many decades,” said his niece, Kimberly Terrell of Charlotte, North Carolina. “He took tremendous pride in his day-to-day work, servicing families and businesses throughout Maryland and surrounding states, and exemplified an outstanding work ethic.”
She said her uncle remained contracted with major hospitals and institutions in Baltimore. The Dutton firm was given its first big job when it got the contract to move books from the old Johns Hopkins University Gilman Hall library to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library in 1970. It later handled other assignments at the university and hospital, as well as at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Sheppard Pratt Hospital, and the Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville.
His brother, Leo Dutton, said, “At one time or another we moved more than 300 pianos at Peabody.”
He also said, “Donald was upbeat and happy-go-lucky. He was always smiling. The customers loved him. He was also a great estimator.”
His brother said that in addition to moving heavy pianos, Donald Dutton supervised the moving of old-fashioned office safes.
The firm has a motto, “We take the worry out of moving.”
”He was a man of tremendous joy,” said his niece. “I remember his laughter, and his genuineness of simply being a good human to all who crossed his path. Donald had a servant’s heart and made it his mission to give back to the community by purchasing clothes, toys, and food for those less fortunate.”
She also said that Mr. Dutton spent time making house calls to his elders and hand-delivered items during the holiday season and throughout the year.
“Donald was the true definition of a well-dressed man,” she said. “He had a unique sense of style and was known to make his attire complete with a stylish hat. You could always count on him to be the life of the party. His personality and sense of humor always lit up the room.”
Mr. Dutton was a baseball enthusiast and followed the Orioles.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday the March Life Tribute Center, 5616 Old Court Road in Windsor Mill.
In addition to his brother and niece, survivors include four sisters, Darlene Wiggins of Philadelphia, Cynthia Shearrill of Abingdon, Crystal Anderson of Forest Hill and Jacqueline Dutton of Baltimore; and nieces and nephews.