Carrie Bell Henry, centenarian and housekeeper

January 22, 2009|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

Carrie Bell Henry, a retired housekeeper who enjoyed entertaining family and friends with her Southern-style cooking, died in her sleep Jan. 14 at her West North Avenue home. She was 102.

"She would have celebrated her 103rd birthday on Feb. 12," said her sister, Henrietta Brown of Baltimore.

Carrie Bell Lowery was born and raised in Chesterfield, S.C. She was 15 when she moved with her family to Baltimore in 1921.

She attended city public schools until she left to go to work as a housekeeper. She moved to New York City in 1937 and worked in the housekeeping department on the 34th floor of the Empire State Building.

Returning to Baltimore in 1954, she resumed working as a housekeeper until retiring in 1976.

The former longtime Northwest Baltimore resident had lived on West North Avenue since 1987 and enjoyed cooking for family and friends.

"She was known for her cooking, especially her fried chicken, collard greens and hot biscuits," her sister said. "Whenever you visited, she served a delicious meal."

She was married in 1929 to Walter Henry, who died in 1936.

"She never remarried, and even though she had no children, she raised some of her nieces and nephews," Mrs. Brown said. "Carrie was a loving and caring person who shared with others."

Mrs. Henry didn't smoke but "enjoyed an occasional glass of beer," her sister said, and otherwise followed no particular regimen that contributed to her centenarian status.

"She used to walk a round trip of 14 blocks on Sundays to attend Victory Baptist Church but stopped that after the pastor died and the church closed," Mrs. Brown said.

She liked reminiscing about her childhood in South Carolina and Baltimore, and also was an avid fan of televised wrestling matches.

"We all knew never to call her on the phone when she was watching wrestling," her sister said, laughing.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Joseph L. Russ Funeral Home, 2222 W. North Ave.

Also surviving are nieces and nephews.

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