Carolyn Ann Bailey, 65, switchboard operator

October 05, 2003

Carolyn Ann "Polly" Bailey, a career switchboard operator, died of cancer Wednesday at St. Agnes HealthCare. The Catonsville woman was 65.

Born Carolyn Miller in Baltimore, Mrs. Bailey graduated in 1955 from Frederick Douglass High School.

She took a job as a switchboard operator at Read's drugstore at Howard and Lexington streets, where she worked for three years. She then spent a decade as a switchboard operator at the Hochschild Kohn department store on Howard Street.

Mrs. Bailey became an employee at Provident Hospital on Liberty Heights Avenue, where she worked for 10 years before the hospital merged with Lutheran Hospital to become Liberty Medical Center.

She joined the staff of Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown, where she worked for 18 years as a telecommunications operator until she became too ill to work in August.

"I think she just loved it," said her aunt, Lureen Foote, of Baltimore who was six years older than Mrs. Bailey and more like a sister to her. "She had such a pleasant voice and truly enjoyed her work."

Mrs. Bailey also enjoyed cooking, reading and watching videos. She also volunteered with the Helping Hand Club of Baltimore, a group that assisted the Lively Hope Baptist Church in Callao, Va., a congregation attended by many of the group members' ancestors.

A service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Fulton Baptist Church, 1630 W. North Ave., Baltimore.

She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Rodney Leroy Bailey; six children, Beatrice Bailey of Baltimore, Sharl Gill of Sykesville, Rodney Bailey of Catonsville, Venetta Costly of Randallstown, John Bailey of Woodlawn and William Bailey of Owings Mills; her mother, Gladys Adel Miller of Baltimore; 22 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

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