Reva Samuels, 82, nurse, churchwoman

June 24, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Reva K. Samuels, a retired licensed practical nurse who was active in St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, died Sunday of a heart attack at Northwest Hospital Center.

She was 82.

A resident of West North Avenue for 48 years, she had worked as a licensed practical nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 10 years until retiring in 1982.

Earlier, she had worked for several years as a caregiver for the Family and Children's Society, and during the 1950s and 1960s was rectory housekeeper at St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church in Walbrook.

Mrs. Samuels was a communicant for more than 50 years at St. Cecilia's, where she was a member of the church's Ladies' Guild, Ladies of Charity and Kitchen Ministry.

In recognition of her many contributions to the church, she was awarded the St. Cecilia's 1999 Black Heroes' Award.

"What a great lady. She was a living saint. She was a woman of deep faith who always knew that God would see her through," said the Rev. Sy J. Peterka, St. Cecilia's pastor.

"If something had to be done at church, Reva was there. She volunteered at the soup kitchen every Thursday and was there just two weeks ago. This is a vibrant parish, and she was so much a part of it. She truly loved her church and community," he said.

The former Reva Nelson was born in Sumter, S.C., and moved to Washington to work for the federal government.

She earned her high school equivalency in the 1960s at Baltimore's Eastern High School and completed her licensed practical nurse's training at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital.

She also studied music and art at Community College of Baltimore.

She played piano and guitar and enjoyed painting watercolor still lifes and portraits. She also was a world traveler.

At her death, she was a member of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery, the Joshua Johnson Council, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, the Waxter Senior Citizen Center, the Foster Care Review Board and the Coppin Heights Neighborhood Association.

Her marriage to Armon Samuels ended in divorce.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Cecilia Church, Windsor Avenue and Hilton Street.

She is survived by two daughters, Eva P. Wortherly of Baltimore and Rozita V. Samuels of Woodlawn; another daughter, Mary K. Samuels, died in 1993; two sisters, Mattie Byrd of Washington and Victoria Williams of Baltimore; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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