John Healy, who lived in Bolton Hill for half a century and with his wife Debbie was active in neighborhood affairs, died last month. He was 79.
The Baltimore Sun portrayed Healy as a man of many tastes and talents: a DPW water safety specialist, a man who tinkered with lots of things, a lover of French food and the French language and jazz; a raconteur.
John liked to keep up his French so he would read French newspapers. “There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t eat a French baguette for dinner,” said Debbie, his wife of 31 years. “He also was a patron of the Mount Royal Tavern and enjoyed the ‘Food Scape’ art exhibitions of the local artists prior to Artscape.”
“John was a dear neighbor on our block of Lanvale. He was always friendly and ready for a casual chat. He helped us understand the inner workings of the public works department when we needed their help. His French language phone greetings were always fun to hear,” wrote John Leith-Tetrault.
After Healy moved from the DC area he settled into an apartment in Bolton Hill in 1968. He was here during the riots that occurred after Martin Luther King’s murder. He told friends he remembered the National Guard asking him to hop in their jeep and drive with them to help them find certain locations.
The Healys were dislocated when their house was accidentally set ablaze by workers on Jan. 5, 2021. “Everything got put back together and restored better than ever. We even got the men who started the fire to kindly clean out the back garden of all the debris from the fire,” Debbie Healy said.
Barry Blumberg recalled the work Debbie and John did to create a small park, the Lanvale Triangle Park. There will be a private memorial service for him there in the fall.