Bernice Countess, 92, cook and caterer

January 06, 2004

Bernice Countess, a former cook and caterer, died of Alzheimer's disease Wednesday at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center & Hospital. The longtime West Baltimore resident was 92.

Bernice Campbell was born and raised in the city's Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, and attended city public schools. She was married in the 1920s to Ervin Waters, who died in 1930. She was married in 1942 to Henry Countess, a truck driver who died in 1944.

For more than 25 years, Mrs. Countess was a cook at the Boys Home Society Inc., a group home for troubled youths in the 800 block of Park Ave. She retired in 1976. She also worked part time preparing food for Carter's Catering Co.

Mrs. Countess was a member for 70 years of Mount Zion United Methodist Church, where she sang with the choir and enjoyed preparing food for church suppers. She was especially known for her seafood dishes and cookies, family members said.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Mount Zion, Wabash and Liberty Heights avenues.

Mrs. Countess is survived by a daughter, Hester D. Bailey of Baltimore; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

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