Helen M. Egan, 91, silent-film accompanist

September 23, 2000

Helen M. Egan, who played musical accompaniment for silent movies during the 1920s in her native Pennsylvania, died Wednesday of heart failure at her Timonium home. She was 91.

As a youth growing up in the coal country of northeastern Pennsylvania, Mrs. Egan, a violinist, and her pianist sister provided musical background for silent movies in theaters in the Pottsville, Pa., area, before the advent of Vitaphone talking pictures in 1927.

Born Helen McCann in New Boston, Pa., she was raised in St. Clair, Pa., where she attended public schools and a business school.

She was married in 1937 to Patrick H. Egan, who died this year.

The couple moved to Brooklyn in 1942 and to Timonium in 1957.

An accomplished seamstress, she enjoyed crocheting and continued to play the violin.

She was a communicant for 43 years at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 100 Church Lane, Timonium, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday.

She is survived by four sons, Joseph P. Egan of Arnold, Martin J. Egan of Glen Burnie, James K. Egan of Phoenix, Baltimore County, and Michael F. Egan of Timonium; two daughters, Kathleen Cornell of Hunt Valley and Susan Egan of Timonium; a sister, Ann Meyer of Clifton, N.J.; 12 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

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