Ella M. PruchaHighlandtown grocerElla M. Prucha, who...


September 07, 1993

Ella M. Prucha

Highlandtown grocer

Ella M. Prucha, who helped operate a corner grocery in Highlandtown for nearly 30 years, died Sunday of cancer at her home. She was 84.

She and her husband, Anthony Prucha, opened Prucha's Grocery on the corner of Foster and Clinton streets in East Baltimore in 1946 with Mr. Prucha's brother and sister-in-law. Later, Mrs. Prucha and her husband owned the store.

In 1975, Mrs. Prucha and her husband retired, closing the store but continuing to live in the three-story building.

Mrs. Prucha had been a seamstress all of her life, making clothesfor her children and grandchildren. After retiring from the grocery, she became interested in crafts and doll-making, specializing in "beautiful Raggedy Ann dolls," recalled her daughter, Betty Bilzer of Catonsville. She sold the dolls at craft shows and at a shop in Lewes, Del.

Mrs. Prucha was an avid bingo player, attending games in her Roman Catholic parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus in Highlandtown, and at St. Brigid's Church on East Avenue.

Before she and her husband opened the grocery, Mrs. Prucha was a hairdresser and was a riveter during World War II. "I don't think there was much she couldn't do," said her daughter. "She was a good businesswoman."

Born in Baltimore, the former Ella Mizerovsky was the daughter of Vaslov and Anna Mizerovsky, who immigrated from Czechoslovakia. She was reared in East Baltimore and attended Baltimore schools, but went to work before she finished high school, her daughter said. In 1938, she married Mr. Prucha, who survives her.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Foster Avenue and Conkling Street, where Mrs. Prucha had been a member for more than 45 years. Burial will be in Holy Redeemer Cemetery.

In addition to her husband and Mrs. Bilzer, her survivors include another daughter, Jackie Kowalczyk of Forest Hill; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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