Rosalie E. Whitehead, 71, cashier and churchwoman

March 30, 2003

Rosalie E. Whitehead, a retired cashier and longtime member of Olivet Baptist Church, died of a blood clot Tuesday at St. Agnes HealthCare. The Baltimore resident was 71.

Mrs. Whitehead was born in Norfolk, Va., and moved to Baltimore in 1937 to live with her aunt and uncle after her parents died. She attended city public schools.

During the 1940s, she worked as a lunch-counter cook at the Thomas & Thompson Co. drugstore at the southeast corner of Baltimore and Light Streets.

Mrs. Whitehead, who was known by family and customers as "Miss Rose," was later a cashier for several local stores that have since closed, including the Read Drug & Chemical Co. drugstore on Belvedere Avenue, Kresge's on Lexington Street and Herling's grocery store in Lexington Market.

At the time of her retirement in 1996, she was working as a cashier at McCrory's in Mondawmin Mall.

She then continued working part time at the Family Dollar Store on Greenmount Avenue. During her career, she received several awards as outstanding employee.

Active in the affairs of Olivet Baptist Church, she was a member of the New Members Fellowship and the Stewards. She was also the chairwoman of the church's first Men's and Women's Day, an annual gathering that began in 1990.

She frequently visited nursing home residents, and also purchased hats, gloves and toiletries that she distributed to the homeless.

Mrs. Whitehead enjoyed dancing, visiting casinos, and crocheting baby blankets, throws and bedspreads.

"The fondest memories are of us cooking together in the kitchen, bumping into each other," said her daughter, Dorothy Howard of Baltimore."At Christmas time, she made sure that every child had a gift under the tree," she added. "Her paycheck went to make sure those gifts were purchased."

She was married in 1948 to George Whitehead. The couple later separated, family members said.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Olivet Baptist Church, 3500 Edmondson Ave.

In addition to Mrs. Howard, she is survived by daughters Diana Whitehead, Delcina Whitehead and Sharon Cash, all of Baltimore; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. A daughter, Carolyn Whitehead, and sons George Whitehead and Larry Whitehead preceded her in death.

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