Madeline Potter, 82

Classified ad worker

August 15, 2007

Madeline M. Potter, who worked in the classified advertising department of The Baltimore Sun for nearly three decades and then had a part-time second career in her retirement, died Saturday of esophageal cancer at her daughter's Parkton home. She was 82.

Madeline Margaret O'Brien was born in Boston and moved to Pennington Avenue in Curtis Bay with her family in 1937.

After graduating from Southern High School in 1942, she went to work in the automobile insurance department of U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty Co. in downtown Baltimore.

She was married in 1951 to Clifton F. Potter, a sheet metal mechanic, who died in 1997.

The couple settled in Hamilton, where Mrs. Potter lived until moving to her daughter's home in 2005.

After raising her children, Mrs. Potter returned to work in 1966 when she joined the newspaper's classified advertising department.

"She loved that job and made many friends. She was always talking about the `girls at the paper,'" said her daughter, Anne R. Wismer of Parkton.

She retired in 1992. A year later, she returned to work in the purchasing and accounting departments of Zenmar Power Tools & Hoist Systems, a Cockeysville business owned by her son-in-law.

"She worked up until three months before her death," Mrs. Wismer said.

An avid sports fan who followed football, baseball and golf, it wasn't unusual for Mrs. Potter to have multiple football games on at the same time on the TV sets in her home.

She also enjoyed playing poker several times a year with former newspaper colleagues.

Mrs. Potter was a communicant of Sherwood Episcopal Church, 5 Sherwood Road, Cockeysville, where a memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday.

Also surviving are two sons, Douglas G. Potter of Breezewood, Pa., and H. Byron Potter of Baltimore; a brother, Paul O'Brien of Glen Burnie; a sister, M. Dorothy Copper of Ocala, Fla.; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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