Cassie Martin, 98

Devoted caregiver

May 16, 2007

Cassie Jamerson Martin, who was known for taking in people who needed a hot meal and a place to stay, died in her sleep May 7 at her Hampden home. The longtime Baltimore resident was 98.

Born Cassie Wood in Lynchburg, Va., she was orphaned in 1918 after her mother died during the influenza pandemic and her father was killed in a train accident. With help from her aunts, she cared for her two brothers, Arthur Wood and Walter Hubble, and her sister, Mittie Spradlin, all now deceased, according to her family.

She married William R. Jamerson in 1922, and in 1941 they moved to Baltimore. Mrs. Jamerson began working at the Hooper Industries cotton mill, which was down the street from the family's home on Druid Park Drive. The Jamersons divorced in the 1940s, according to daughter Delores Mitzel of Hampden.

She married William R. Martin in 1952. Soon afterward, she was laid off from the cotton mill and began attending night classes at Western High School.

In 1965, she began working at Life-Like Products on Union Avenue in Baltimore, where she made train garden displays. She retired in 1991 to care for her ailing husband, who died in 1994.

She continued to live in the family home on Druid Park Drive until 2000, when she bought a house on 42nd Street next door to her daughter.

"Her life has been devoted to caring for others," said Mrs. Mitzel, who recalled that her mother shared her home with a friend for 15 years after the friend's husband died.

"Her door was always open," Mrs. Mitzel said. "If you needed a place to stay until you got a place of your own, she would take you in. She was a very giving person. We could always bring our friends home for dinner."

Fiercely independent, Mrs. Martin handled electrical and plumbing repairs around her home, her daughter said. She also enjoyed cooking and sewing.

Her funeral services were held Friday.

Mrs. Martin also is survived by three other daughters, Gladys Day of Owings Mills, Irene Kemp of Georgetown, Del., and Rose Diane Hale of Hanover, Pa.; a niece she raised, Katherine Grinnell of Fenwick, Del.; 14 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren. Two sons, Herbert and Gerald Jamerson, and a daughter, Evelyn Wilhelm, preceded her in death.

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