John Menton, Baltimore real estate agent, dies

John Menton, Baltimore real estate agent, dies

John Menton, a prominent real estate agent and a former board member of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, died July 19 at Gilchrist Hospice of cholangiocarcinoma. The Guilford resident was 71.

Mr. Menton, whom colleagues and family said had a self-deprecating sense of humor, also mentored young agents and served as a mentor and volunteer on the board of Genesis Jobs Inc., a nonprofit helping people find entry-level jobs.

Former colleagues said Mr. Menton was honest with homebuyers and sellers about what they would be getting into.

“You knew where you stood with John,” said James Piper, who employed Mr. Menton in his Baltimore real estate firm Piper and Co., later O’Conor Piper and Flynn. “If he said something was the case, it was.”

John Aloysius Menton III was born in Baltimore to Margaret Frainie and John Aloysius Menton. His father was executive secretary and executive vice president of the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association; his mother, a homemaker, stepped into her husband’s role after his death.

Mr. Menton attended Mount Washington Country School, a now-defunct kindergarten through eighth grade school, and graduated in 1962 from Loyola Blakefield. In high school, he played on the tennis, lacrosse and basketball teams — cultivating a love for sports that would continue throughout his life. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from St. Joseph College in Philadelphia.

As a young boy, Mr. Menton recalled playing a match against tennis champion Arthur Ashe, who was then just 12 years old. Mr. Ashe beat him handily, as he liked to recount to family members.

In 1972, he met Margery Feiss, and the two were married the next year. The couple had a son and a daughter.

Mrs. Menton said her husband enjoyed “the people aspect” of real estate the most.

“He loved meeting the people, he loved helping them find a home to raise their families,” said Mrs. Menton, who works in the Lower School at Bryn Mawr School. “He was very ethical, he was loyal to his family and friends to a fault. … His mentoring was available to help people if they needed help.”

Margery Menton Fenwick, his daughter, said her father was well liked.

“People always commented on his sense of humor,” said Mrs. Fenwick, of Cockeysville. “He was extremely friendly, easy to talk to. He was well respected in his industry because he was very honest and very genuine.”

Mr. Menton was in real estate for 43 years, working in the residential and commercial sectors as well as appraisal, distressed property and land development and sales. Until his illness, he worked as an associate broker for Long and Foster Real Estate.

At Genesis Jobs and at work, Mr. Menton served as a mentor.

“He worked with new agents coming into the sales force,” Mr. Piper said. “He would help train them, he would take them out on calls, he would teach them some of the fundamentals of salesmanship. He was just a person with a lot of experience that an agent would look up to.”

A sister, Nancy Menton Webster, said her brother had a “quick wit.”

“It wasn’t like he would the hold the floor,” said Mrs. Webster, of Baltimore. “It was more a quiet subtle kind of sense of humor that made you enjoy being around him.”

Mr. Menton served on the board of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors and contributed to the Guilford Architectural Committee and published a newsletter about real estate for Baltimore and Guilford.

He was also a member of the Maryland Association of Appraisers and the Maryland Building Industry Association. He was a 40-year member of the Maryland Club.

Mr. Menton frequently walked from his childhood home on University Parkway and later, from his home in Guilford, to Baltimore Orioles games at Memorial Stadium. He enjoyed watching Colts and Ravens football games and lacrosse at Homewood Field. He also played squash. He coached Little League teams in Roland Park and youth lacrosse.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.

Besides his wife, daughter and sister, Mr. Menton is survived by a son, John Aloysius Menton IV of Winnetka, Ill.; another sister, Eileen Menton Zemanick of Ashburn, Va.; and five grandchildren.

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