Anna T. Spath, a longtime Highlandtown cosmetologist who enjoyed singing and preparing weekly sour-beef dinners for her family, died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia at Manorcare Health Services-Rossville. She was 95.
Anna Theresa Krahling was born in Pittsburgh — one of 12 children — and later moved with her family to a rowhouse in the 3700 block of E. Pratt St. in Highlandtown.
She attended Sacred Heart parochial school and later put herself through cosmetology school.
"When she was 13, she was cutting neighbors' hair in her home for 25 cents so she could go to beauty school," said a daughter, Lois Ann Boucher-Edwards of Rosedale. "In 1933, she won a Vogue marcel hair competition at the Emerson Hotel."
When she was 18, she opened Anna's Beauty Shoppe in her home at 3704 E. Pratt St. In 1961, Mrs. Spath moved to a new shop at Eaton and Pratt streets, where she was joined in the business by her two daughters and a son.
"Even though she retired in 2002, she still came in on Saturdays to do shampoos. She loved that," said Mrs. Boucher-Edwards.
The salon closed in 2009.
Mrs. Spath was a longtime communicant and volunteer at Our Lady of Pompeii Roman Catholic Church, where she had headed the Altar Society.
"During the 1960s and 1970s, Monday was her day off, and she'd go and clean the church and rectory," her daughter said.
"She was most happy when one side of her tote bag was filled with her scissors, curling iron and comb, and the other side had her screwdriver, hammer, tape measure and paint brush," she said. "If repairs were needed, she did them on the spot."
Proud of her German heritage, Mrs. Spath had been a member since the 1940s of the old Eichenkranz Singing Society, which today is the home of the Eichenkranz restaurant on South Fagley Street in Highlandtown.
"Every Sunday she made sour beef and dumplings, which she served to her family and relatives while listening to 'The German [Music] Hour' on the radio," Mrs. Boucher-Edwards said.
"She was also known for her sweet potato buns that she made for family, friends and parishioners," her daughter said. "And she certainly loved her parties."
Mrs. Spath considered it a highlight of her life when she traveled to Rome and Germany, where she attended the Passion Play at Oberammergau, family members said.
She also liked going to Delaware Park for the races and slots, and enjoyed a regular Saturday night poker game.
Plans for a Mass at her church were incomplete.
Her husband of 42 years, Louis Proudfit Spath, a machinist, died in 1987.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Spath is survived by two sons, Joseph L. Hobbs of Baltimore and Louis S. Spath of Rosedale; another daughter, Margaret Hobbs Dudley of Jacksonville, Fla.; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun