Laura H. Karll, 81, interior decorator

September 02, 2004

Laura H. Karll, a retired interior decorator and former longtime Roland Park resident, died of septic shock Saturday at St. Joseph Medical Center. She was 81.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Laura Hiss was a 1940 graduate of Eastern High School and earned a bachelor's degree in zoology in 1944 from Smith College.

She was a physical therapist in the Women's Army Corps in the waning days of World War II, attaining the rank of lieutenant.

In 1947, she married William R. Karll, an Army major who became a real estate developer after they moved to Roland Park. He died in 1994.

When their youngest child began school, Mrs. Karll enrolled at the Maryland Institute College of Art and earned a master's degree in interior design.

A lifelong interest in antiques and objets d'art was inspired by her father, John Bosley Hiss, who owned and operated the Amy B. Hiss Antique and Gift Shop in Towson for many years.

In the early 1970s, Mrs. Karll established Laura Designed Interiors, specializing in residential and commercial interior design. She contributed design expertise to several Baltimore Symphony Orchestra decorator show houses through the years.

In 1985, she was named Designer of the Year by the American Society of Interior Designers. She retired in 1998.

Since 2000, Mrs. Karll had lived at the Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville. She was a former member of University Baptist Church in Baltimore and Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium.

She attended services at Ashland Presbyterian Church, 16 Ashland Road, Cockeysville, where a memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today.

Mrs. Karll is survived by six daughters, Laurie K. Karll of Lineboro, Barbara K. McCormick of Lyle, Wash., Nancy K. White and Pamela L. Karll-Slowick, both of Fairfield, Iowa, Sandra B. Karll of Maui, Hawaii, and Claudia K. Karll of Seattle; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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