Beatrice M. Hitchner, 103, former beauty salon owner

August 31, 2005

Beatrice M. Hitchner, who had owned a beauty salon and later was a restaurant hostess, died of cardiovascular disease Aug. 24 at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. She was 103.

She was born Beatrice Marie Perrin in Winston-Salem, N.C., and she was raised in Baltimore and attended parochial schools. In 1918, she married John Phillip Berger and lived in Philadelphia for eight years before returning to Baltimore in 1926.

In the late 1920s, Mrs. Hitchner owned and operated a beauty salon in Hamilton, and during the 1950s and early 1960s worked as an assistant at Art Decorating Co. in the 1200 block of Lovegrove Street. The company specialized in decorating buildings for the Christmas season, family members said.

In the late 1960s, she was a hostess for several years at Peerce's Plantation in Dulaney Valley.

After she and her first husband divorced, she was married in 1950 to Henry Russo, a factory manager who died in 1959. She married John Hitchner, a retired office worker, in 1971. He died the next year.

The longtime Towson resident lived in an apartment at Timothy House until she was 98 and had been an avid gardener, especially of roses, and bridge player. She enjoyed Scrabble, checkers and crossword puzzles. Since 2000, she had been a resident of Stella Maris.

Mrs. Hitchner did not ascribe her longevity to any particular regime.

"She was never a fan of exercise, but she loved reading, and for her that was a stress reducer and relaxation," said a granddaughter, Jacqueline R. Schnee of Glenarm.

Mrs. Hitchner was a communicant of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church.

Services were Saturday.

Also surviving are a son, Theodore M. Berger of Miami, Fla.; a daughter, Beatrice L. Reed of Timonium; seven other grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren.

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