John Halliday, 81, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family on August 4, 2023, after a valiant battle with congestive heart failure and dementia. A loving husband, father and grandfather, he was a great man with a deep love for his family, animals, golf, “real” football, horse racing and Indian food. A flirt who never had a hair out of place, John was known to tell a good story, sing a good song and share a good laugh.
John was born on August 22, 1941, to Mary Johnstone Halliday in Dumfries, Scotland. He attended primary and secondary school in East Kilbride, Scotland. After finishing school, he held a number of jobs, including at Templeton’s Carpet Factory, Busby Laundry and eventually doing what he loved most – driving, first as a bus driver with SMT and then long distance with Coopers among others.
At 18, John met Maud Marshall, the beautiful daughter of a farmhand who was four years his junior. They began dating, despite him knowing her as Maureen and not Maud, and spent many a night at the Olympia Dance Hall. One night his best friend Raymond was there and, to his surprise, he learned that the woman that John had been dating was actually his baby sister. And so, John learned the real name of the woman he grew to be deeply in love with and with whom he chose to share his life.
On March 21, 1964, John and Maud got married at the Old Parish Church in East Kilbride. They began their life together, where they had their first child in 1965 in Scotland. They then moved to Northamptonshire, England, where they had their second child in 1971. A few years later, in search of a better life and higher education for their daughters, they followed members of John’s family by emigrating to New York. Their pursuit of the American dream began on a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) flight to JFK International Airport with their two children, a suitcase each and $150. John remained a proud Scot who imparted that pride on his children with his stories as well as their annual visits to the homeland; yet he was equally proud of his American citizenship, for which he likely studied harder than for any other exam in his life.
John epitomized a strong work ethic - no job was too menial or too difficult as long it was a means to taking care of his family. Once in New York, he began a career at the now defunct Patent Trader newspaper and then moved on to become the caretaker of an estate for a family in Bedford, N.Y., with whom they all moved to Connecticut for a brief time. But New York was calling, and back they went to the Westchester suburb of Mount Kisco. John then began a 30-plus year career as the building superintendent for the 100-unit Random Apartments owned by Northern Westchester Hospital Center. He prided himself on the hard work that garnered callouses on his hands - painting apartments, buffing floors, vacuuming carpets, shoveling snow, rolling out trash dumpsters, as well as the responsibilities that challenged his mind – handling leases, collecting rents, balancing the books and more.
In 2007, John realized he and Maud’s life-long dream - to retire to Florida to live in the first home they had ever purchased. They moved to the Colony Cove community in Ellenton, Fla., where he played many a round of golf as long as his health allowed, worked as a member of the community’s overnight security team, volunteered with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department, enjoyed the beach, frequented the VFW and played bingo – where he often won.
He and Maud moved to Baltimore, Md., a short two months before his passing. He was able to spend that time with his family, dote on his granddogs and great-granddogs, admire his lawn, play dominos and enjoy the Broadway Diner, DiPasquale’s and Tandav. While his time was too short, his family knows he wanted Maud to be surrounded by their love once he was gone.
He was predeceased by his mother Mary (Baillie) and his sisters, Anne (Halliday) and Elizabeth “Betty” (McCaig).
He is survived by his adoring wife of 59 years, Maud (Marshall), as well as his daughter Aileen and her husband Gary (Selmeczi), daughter Tracey (Halliday) and her partner Michael (Palmer), only grandchild Marissa (Freeman) and her partner Holly (Thompson), and his older brother Gordon (Halliday).
Please join us in celebrating John’s life. Visitation will be held from 1pm-3pm on August 18 at LILLY & ZEILER INC. FUNERAL HOME,1901 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore,MD 21231. Service will follow at 3:30pm. Following the service, guests are invited to join the family nearby for libations and light food.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests plants be sent to represent John’s longevity and hardiness. In addition, in recognition of the incredible care and compassion that was given to John in his final days in hospice, memorial contributions can be made in his honor to Gilchrist Center Towson (gilchristcares.org).
555 W. Towsontown Blvd., Towson MD 21204