Catherine Bailey Eck
June 19, 1942 – November 24, 2019
Bailey Morris Eck died in her own bed, surrounded by her children, siblings, grandchildren, and friends on Sunday, November 24, 2019. The cause of death was acute myeloid leukemia. Born Catherine Bailey Urban on June 19, 1942, to George and Ellen Urban of Baltimore, MD, she had many happy memories of her childhood in Catonsville with her two older sisters Ellie and Carol, her older brother George, and her younger brother John. She attended Notre Dame School and went on to college at Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Boston, MA.
Known growing up as Cathy, she took the name “Bailey” as a journalist, needing a byline that didn’t sound like a woman’s as she began her more than 40-year career in the mid-60s. From her first job as a Wall Street stringer for UPI to her stints at The Cincinnati Post and The Washington Star, to the job she loved most as foreign economics correspondent for the Times of London, she was a fearless reporter and an effortless writer. She also worked at the Institute for International Economics and the Brookings Institution, as well as in two Democratic administrations, but journalism was her calling, and she enjoyed every minute of it. She lived life like she was on deadline.
Bailey’s career was important to her, but people were more important. She gathered communities wherever she went. For decades she brought people together at her dinner table, whether they were new to the country, to the neighborhood or the job. She will be remembered for her laughter, her hospitality, her enthusiastic dancing and her relentless optimism.
Bailey met her first husband, Wilson Morris, in Washington D.C. They had two children, Caroline and Giles, and raised them together before divorcing. Her second marriage, to C. Franklin Eck, Jr. was a happy one. She knew Franklin from childhood and enjoyed returning to her Baltimore roots during their 20 years together at Good Fellowship Farm. Bailey and Franklin traveled all over the world together, from Austria to Hawaii. His two sons, Charlie and Eben, and their children, Haley, Tucker, Aidan, Annie, and Oliver were part of her family.
Bailey never stopped working or networking. As a longtime trustee of the Capital Group, a founding member of the International Women’s Media Foundation, and a board member of the Salzburg Global Seminar, The Walters Art Museum and WYPR, she used her knowledge, her relationships, and her charisma to advance organizations and the people who worked in them.
She was a member of many clubs and social organizations, including the Chevy Chase Club, the Sulgrave Club, the Cosmos Club, Green Spring Club, and the Millwood Mob. She is survived by her children, Caroline Morris (Jon Wei) of, Austin, TX, and Giles Morris (Bethany Butler) of Charlottesville, VA; her grandchildren Elias Wei, Lyle Morris and Seneca Morris; her brothers George and John Urban; her sister Carol Barton; and many, many dear friends.
A Memorial Service in Washington D.C. to be held in the spring.