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Robert D. Crayton, TV repairman

Robert Crayton
Robert Crayton (Baltimore Sun)

Robert D. Crayton, a retired TV repairman who was also a funeral home attendant, died Sunday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center of a stroke. He was 77.

The son of Alvin Crayton, who owned a TV repair shop, and Margaret Crayton, who worked in the business as a bookkeeper, Robert Donald Crayton was born in Baltimore and lived in Walbrook before moving with his family to Gardenville.

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He attended Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School and was 50 when he earned his General Education Development certificate, family members said.

From 1954 to 1957, he served in the Army as a construction engineer in Alaska, helping to construct the Distant Early Warning Line, better known as the DEW Line.

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Mr. Crayton worked for Marv-Al TV, the Belair Road TV repair firm that had been founded by his father in 1950. Between house calls, he'd visit the sick in hospitals and check on homebound individuals, family members said.

When business was slow, he took a part-time job working at Miller-Dippel Funeral Home as a driver and parking lot attendant.

He closed Marv-Al in 2000 and retired but continued working at the Belair Road funeral home.

"Once again, he touched so many lives in the interactions he had on the job, always with a big smile on his face and a warm hug," said a daughter, Trish A. Borders of Cochise, Ariz. "He was working up to the end, which is the only way he'd have it."

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Mr. Crayton was a "Mr. Fix-It," his daughter said, who enjoyed working on projects around his Oliver Beach home and assisting family members and neighbors with theirs.

He was an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where he was an elder and worked in outreach.

He and his wife of 54 years, the former Lois A. Messick, enjoyed attending their grandchildren's band concerts and athletic events. He collected clown figures and Hess Oil Co. model trucks, which he gave to his grandchildren each Christmas.

For 50 years, Mr. Crayton started his day with a bowl of Cheerios, his favorite cereal, family members said. He also enjoyed taking his family and friends out on the We Shoulda, his 17-foot boat.

Funeral services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at his church, 4815 Hamilton Ave.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Crayton is survived by another daughter, Barbara J. Maher of Perry Hall; two brothers, Alvin Crayton Jr. of Richmond, Ky., and Richard Crayton of Perkinston, Miss.; three sisters, Peggy Childress of Hamilton, Sue Ward of Gardenville and Helen Hutton of Middletown, Del.; and five grandchildren.

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