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Phyllis C. Bathurst, microbiologist

Phyllis C. Bathurst was a board-certified microbiologist who worked at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
Phyllis C. Bathurst was a board-certified microbiologist who worked at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Phyllis C. Bathurst, a board-certified microbiologist who worked at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, died there Oct. 26 of a heart attack. She was 65.

The daughter of James Fink, movement director with the Lake Erie, Franklin, & Clarion Railroad, and Lillian McGee Fink, a licensed practical nurse, Phyllis Catherine Fink was born and raised in DuBois, Pa.

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"After losing her father at age 8, she quickly became a second mother, helping to raise her four younger siblings under very difficult circumstances," said her daughter, Melinda B. "Mindy" Mangum of Homeland.

She was a 1967 graduate of DuBois Area High School and earned a bachelor's degree in 1971 in medical technology from Pennsylvania State University's DuBois campus.

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While attending Penn State, she met her future husband, Luther "Luke" Bathurst, who was studying for a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.

"He is fond of saying that he chased her until she caught him," said Ms. Mangum.

The couple married in 1971, shortly after her graduation. While her husband finished his engineering degree, she worked at a DuBois hospital.

In 1974, the couple moved to Baltimore when Mr. Bathurst took an engineering job with Whitman Requardt & Associates, where he eventually was promoted to vice president. He retired this year.

For 20 years, Mrs. Bathurst, a microbiologist, worked in quality control for Acumedia Manufacturers Inc. The company, which was established in Baltimore in 1978, develops, manufactures and distributes dehydrated cultured media for the pharmaceutical and food safety industries.

In 1999, Mrs. Bathurst joined the microbiology laboratory at GBMC, where she continued working until her death.

"Phyllis was very dedicated and a hardworking employee. She was a very compassionate person and never said a mean word about anyone or anything," said Gail A. Shaw, who was Mrs. Bathurst's supervisor.

"Everyone in the department worked closely with her. As a medical technologist and microbiologist, she worked diagnosing infections," said Ms. Shaw.

"Phyllis was extremely diligent. I know she came in here many times when she wasn't feeling her best. She liked working with the people here, and they liked her. She was very easy to get along with," she said.

A resident of the Thornleigh community of Riderwood, Mrs. Bathurst was an active member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lutherville, where she was a greeter and a member of the prayer chain.

She and her husband had recently traveled with other congregants to Italy and spent two weeks visiting Venice, Pompeii, Rome and the Amalfi Coast.

"Everyone at church felt very close to her, and when I announced her death in church, there was an audible gasp," said the Rev. Sandra Carlson Alexis, pastor of St. Paul's. "She was very close to her family, kids and grandkids, and I thought that was fantastic."

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A lifelong traveler, Mrs. Bathurst and her husband had covered the area from Vermont to the Florida Keys on "their trusty BMW motorcycle" before they had a family, said her daughter.

Mrs. Bathurst enjoyed reading newspapers, world history and historical fiction. She was also adept at finishing crossword puzzles in a matter of minutes.

Mrs. Bathurst relished the role of a doting grandmother.

"She was the ever-present Nana to her two grandchildren, Lily and Jack Mangum, with whom she spent a significant amount of time every week," her daughter said.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at her church, 1609 Kurtz Ave., Lutherville.

In addition to her husband of 43 years, daughter and two grandchildren, Mrs. Bathurst is survived by her son, James E. Bathurst of Washington; her mother, Lillian E. Stahlman of Clarion, Pa.; and two brothers, James C. Fink and John C. Fink, both of Reisterstown.

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