Catherine C. Wilks, 74, social services caseworker

March 01, 2003

Catherine C. Wilks, 74, social services caseworker

Catherine Cauthen Wilks, a former caseworker with the state Department of Social Services who helped the needy in her Northwest Baltimore neighborhood, died of pneumonia Monday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 74.

Born Catherine Cauthen in Hartsville, S.C., and raised in Rock Hill, S.C., where she graduated from high school, she attended Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill. Mrs. Wilks later moved to Baltimore, where she earned her bachelor's degree in French from then-Morgan State College in 1960.

She worked as a substitute teacher in Baltimore public schools before going to work as a state housing inspector. In 1976, she became a caseworker for the state Department of Social Services, from which she retired in 1989.

"She loved spending time with her family, caring for her grandchildren and neighborhood children," said a daughter, Felicia Wilks-Agyeman of Fort Washington. "She donated much of her time in helping less fortunate people throughout the community. She opened her home to anyone who wanted to enter."

Mrs. Wilks enjoyed entertaining family and friends and cooking. She was also an accomplished seamstress.

She was married in 1953 to Pleasant Wilks, a steel worker. Mr. Wilks died in 1986.

Mrs. Wilks was a member of Good Shepherd Baptist Church, 3459 Park Heights Ave., where services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Kenneth Wilks of Baltimore; another daughter, Renee Wilks Streety of Baltimore; a brother, Ezekiel Cauthen of Rock Hill; six sisters, Stella Sterling, and Patricia Jones, both of Rock Hill, Martha Taylor, Rebecca Leaphart and Virginia Garvin, all of Washington, and Roseanne Leftridge of Fort Washington; and 12 grandchildren.

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