Juanita Norwood, a retired office manager at the St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Southwest Baltimore, died Dec. 1 of complications from diabetes at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. The Pimlico resident was 78.
Born Juanita Virginia Lyles in Baltimore, she was the daughter of Clarence Lyles, a Fort Meade cook, and Dorothy May Grifﬁn, a homemaker who also worked for the Baltimore Spice Co. She grew up in West Baltimore on Mulberry Street and was a 1957 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School.
She completed courses at a Baltimore secretarial school and worked at several jobs in the Pennsylvania Avenue business community. In 1962, she met Archie Davis Blount, with whom she had a son.
In 1963, she began working at Jenkins Memorial Nursing Home on South Caton Avenue. The home became the St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a part of Catholic Charities of Baltimore.
She was initially hired as a secretary in the dietary department and later became a receptionist. She went on to become the center’s director of purchasing and personnel and office manager.
“She welcomed visitors and employees with a sweet voice and a smile,” said her son, Brian Davis Lyles of Baltimore.
“While serving as receptionist, in 1974 Juanita was introduced to her future husband Ross Norwood, who was just a voice on the phone until they met in person a year later,” her son said. They married in 1979.
She retired in 2004.
Mrs. Norwood was a member of the Order of Calanthe Knights of Pythias Lodge. She was a former member of Evangelical Baptist Church in Northwest Baltimore and a current member of the House of Prayer of Restoration.
A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the March West Funeral Home, 4300 Wabash Ave.