Ethna Prahl, 97, beautician at salon

February 05, 2004

Ethna Prahl, a retired beautician, died Sunday of lung disease at St. Agnes HealthCare. A resident of Charlestown Retirement Community for the past nine years and of Catonsville for many years, she was 97.

Born Ethna Kirby in Baltimore and raised in Highlandtown, she attended city public schools. She was a beautician at the old Harrison salon in the 300 block of N. Charles St. for many years. After working at other shops, she retired in 1981.

"She was known for her gregarious personality, beautiful clothes and very high heels," said her daughter-in-law, Carol McGowan. "She refused until her death to wear any other shoes."

Her first marriage to Joseph H. McGowan, longtime editor of the Daily Record newspaper, ended in divorce in 1934. She married Jack Prahl in 1950. He died in 1956.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 28 at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown, 711 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville.

Survivors include a son, George V. McGowan of Queenstown, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.; four grandsons; and a great-granddaughter.

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