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Ozell D. Cryor

Baltimore Sun reporter

Ozell D. Cryor, a former public school nursing assistant, died Oct. 22 of respiratory failure at Good Samaritan Nursing Center in Northeast Baltimore.

The former longtime Northwest Baltimore resident was 96.

The daughter of farmers, Ozell Delores Tillman was born and raised in Minden, La. She later moved with her family to Houston, where she graduated in 1933 from Phliss Wheatley High School.

Mrs. Cryor moved to Baltimore in the 1930s, and in 1937, married the Rev. Elliott Cryor. They settled in Northwest Baltimore.

Mr. Cryor, who pastored Prayer Mission Church of God in Northwest Baltimore, died in 1993.

"My sister and I learned so much about service and human decency from our mother and father," said her son, Michael Cryor, a public relations executive and former Maryland Democratic Party chairman. "She remains a major influence in my life."

During the 1950s, Mrs. Cryor worked in Baltimore public schools as a nursing assistant at James Mosher Elementary School.

Mrs. Cryor was an excellent baker and was known for her cakes and cookies, her son said.

For years, Mrs. Cryor volunteered with various neighborhood associations and she allowed her home to be used as a Girl Scouts cookies distribution center and a play center for neighborhood children.

She enjoyed returning to her native Louisiana to visit her mother, who died at 103, and other family members.

Funeral services were held Thursday at Emmanuel Ministries in Rosedale.

In addition to her son who lives in Baltimore, Mrs. Cryor is survived by two grandchildren and a great-grandson. Her daughter, Cary Beth Cryor, a photographer and professor at Coppin State University, died in 1998.

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