Emma Steinwedel
Emma Steinwedel (Baltimore Sun)

Emma K. Steinwedel, a retired sales associate who was known for her impeccable style of dress, died July 6 of complications from an infection at Howard County General Hospital. The Columbia resident was 91.

The daughter of Henry Franklin Mahan, an Old Bay Line engine room engineer, and Annie Mae Mahan, a homemaker, Emma Keane Mahan was born and raised in Irvington, Va., where she graduated from high school.


She moved to Baltimore during World War II and went to work for the old Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co.

After her marriage to William Y. Keane Sr., the couple moved to Catonsville, where she raised their three children. The marriage ended in divorce.

While living in Catonsville, she worked as a dietitian at Summit Nursing Home and trained as a dental assistant.

Mrs. Steinwedel, who was the personification of a Southern lady, family members said, was known for her impeccable and fashionable dressing.

"She would regularly get dolled up for dinner. including high heels and pearl necklace. She had a flair for fashion," said Michael Kirby, a son-in-law who lives in Catonsville. "She was also known for her hats."

After her children were grown, Mrs. Steinwedel went to work as a sales associate at Diane Gayle's at The Mall in Columbia, and later at Seasonal Impressions in Ellicott City. She retired in 2000 from Brighton Collectibles, which sells jewelry, purses and belts, at The Mall in Columbia.

Mrs. Steinwedel enjoyed cooking and entertaining. She liked flowers, decorating and collecting antique furniture.

She was a longtime member of Catonsville United Methodist Church, where she had been a Sunday school teacher.

Her husband of nine years, Robert E. Steinwedel, a mechanical engineer, died in 1983.

Services are private.

Mrs. Steinwedel is survived by a son, William Y. Keane Jr. of Portugal; two daughters, Mary Curtin of Riva and Ann Kirby of Catonsville; a stepson, Robert "Bobby" Steinwedel of Dallas; two stepdaughters, Susan Duvall of Baltimore and Laura Falconer of Virginia Beach, Va.; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.