Hazel E. Carroll, 80, nurse, administrator

July 26, 2004

Hazel E. Carroll, a retired nurse and administrator, died Friday of lung cancer at her Annapolis home. She was 80.

Mrs. Carroll is credited with helping the Keswick Multi-Care Center in the mid-1980s create one of the first units devoted exclusively to Alzheimer's disease.

She was born on a farm in Freeland. Her mother died while she was an infant and she was adopted by an aunt in Hampden, where she grew up as Hazel Sparks McComas. She graduated from Western High School and the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

She worked briefly at the University of Maryland Medical Center before becoming a homemaker after her marriage in the late 1940s to Charles L. Carroll, who worked in the advertising department at the former News-Post. He died in 1986.

She joined Keswick in 1971 as a nursing supervisor. Mrs. Carroll, who was head of nursing at Keswick from 1974 until her retirement in 1986, was responsible for working out the operating logistics and making many of the staffing decisions for the new Alzheimer's unit at a time when the disease was not widely known or understood.

In addition to laying the groundwork for the Alzheimer's wing, Mrs. Carroll also made it a point to bring in nursing students from Towson University and the University of Maryland for hands-on training. The practice, says Carol Hosfeld, a nurse who worked for Mrs. Carroll at Keswick, wasn't widespread.

"She was ahead of her time," Mrs. Hosfeld said.

But in other ways Mrs. Carroll was also very much of her time. She frowned upon the growing number of young nurses who no longer wore white uniforms. Mrs. Carroll, recalled Mrs. Hosfeld, always kept a bottle of white polish in her office closet.

When Mrs. Carroll retired she had her worn white shoes bronzed. "She was one of the grand old nurses," said Mrs. Hosfeld. "The patients really loved her."

A funeral will be held at 10:45 a.m. today at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 10 E. Mount Vernon Place.

She is survived by two daughters, Cathryn L. Carroll of Annapolis and Lynn E. Norgang of Damariscotta, Maine; a sister, Ruth Sparks Thompson of Freeland; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

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