Joye Eugenia Marino, a retired hairstylist and colorist sought by politicians and entertainers, died of heart disease April 25 at her Cedarcroft home. She was 77.
"Joye Marino had such a big heart, and she made sure her customers had big hair," said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. "She really deserves the Golden Hairspray Award to go with her golden halo.
"She was a big help to me when I first ran for office. I had many campaign consultants. She was my beauty consultant," the senator said. "She helped me look right, because she believed I could do right. I remember the endless generosity and zest she showed for me and so many others. She will be missed."
Born Joye Eugenia Theodore in Baltimore, she was the daughter of Jeanne Bernice Pelczar and Manuel Theodore.
She was raised on Keane Avenue and was a 1957 graduate of Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School.
She initially worked in a Govans neighborhood beauty shop, where a customer encouraged her to move to a high-profile salon.
She put on her best outfit, one of her customers recalled, and approached Andre Schnabel, one of Baltimore's top hairstylists, to ask for a job. Mr. Schnabel, who owned Andre's Empire Salon near the Washington Monument, declined at first to hire her. She returned and asked a second time. Impressed by her persistence, he gave her a job.
"She went back to the glory days when hair salons were social centers," said Dr. Julia Haller, ophthalmologist-in-chief of Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, who lives in Baltimore.
"Joye loved interesting people, and she loved becoming their friends," said Dr. Haller. "She ran her business like a boutique. She coddled them. She gave them advice on recipes and on their life. She was a one-of-a-kind, a true Baltimorean."
Over the years, Ms. Marino developed a clientele that at one time included Annunciata D'Alesandro, wife of Mayor Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr., celebrity actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, social activist Peggy Ewing Waxter and Senator Mikulski.
Friends recalled that Ms. Marino created the red hair color used by Block striptease artist Blaze Starr, who died last year.
"She was an artist with hair color," said Dr. Haller. "She developed her own techniques and involved beautiful natural shades. She loved nothing more than a complete beauty makeover that was a challenge to her ingenuity, creativity and skills."
Nancy Miller, a Federal Hill resident and client for 35 years, also recalled Ms. Marino's ability.
"When I first when to her, I was a bit intimidated by her. But soon I was getting great compliments about my hair," said Ms. Miller. "She made you look natural. She was talented in both cutting and color."
"On her journeys through Baltimore area alleys looking for good stuff, Marino ... has on occasion found very wearable clothing, including a new Jones of New York blazer," said a 2000 Evening Sun article that detailed her ability to make use of what others had discarded.
"I love accessorizing," she said in the article "I used to have a fashion accessories shop at my salon. ... I would look for really out-of-the-ordinary things, arty types of jewelry. I'm not into clothes. Accessories are more fun. Scarves can change an outfit in 20 different ways. I would go to New York on buying trips and find wonderful ponytail holders and other pieces designed by young entrepreneurs at the shows."
Ms. Marino lived for some years in Australia, and when she returned to Baltimore in 1974 she joined the staff of Carl's Inter-coiffeur, also on Charles Street and later at the Village of Cross Keys.
Nearly 40 years ago she opened her own shop, Wyndhurst Coiffures, in Roland Park. She later owned The Parlor on Chestnut Avenue in Hampden, where she retired about six months ago after nearly 60 years in the beauty trade.
Upon her retirement, her customers hosted a party in her honor.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Peaceful Alternatives, 2325 York Road in Timonium.
Survivors include a daughter, Bronwyn E. LeGette of Baltimore; a brother, Manuel W. Theodore of Greece; and a granddaughter. Her marriage ended in divorce.