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Shadyside manicurist met city's movers and shakers

| Sunday, July 11, 2010, 12:00 p.m.

Margaret Walsh was a manicurist whose list of customers read like a who's who in the business, social and entertainment worlds.

"My mother, who was a personable Irish woman with flaming red hair, worked at some of the finest barbershops and beauty salons in the city," said her son, John Smozski of Forest Hills.

"She spent years at the barbershop in the William Penn Hotel in the Downtown, a beauty shop in Squirrel Hill and with Salon deStefano on Walnut Street in Shadyside," he added.

Margaret M. Walsh of Shadyside died on Thursday, July 8, 2010, in LGAR in Turtle Creek. She was 90.

Her son said his mother was an astute businesswoman who often listened to the executives who frequented the William Penn Barbershop as they discussed stocks with their favorite barber.

"If she could afford one of the stocks they were recommending for future growth, especially the penny stocks, she'd buy several stocks," her son said.

Born and raised in the North Side, Margaret Walsh was one of six children in the family of railroader Edward Walsh and his wife, Margaret Kowalsky Walsh.

Upon completing Peabody High School in East Liberty in 1938, Miss Walsh attended Duquesne University, prior to working in defense factories during World War II.

After the war ended, Margaret Walsh began her career as a manicurist, first with the William Penn Hotel Barbershop, then a friend's beauty parlor in Squirrel Hill and finally with Salon deStefano in Shadyside in the early '60s.

"The years that my mother worked at deStefano were the glory years of Walnut Street, where she had as customers several Shadyside businesswomen, many high-end shoppers and the entertainers who performed at the former Encore, Gas Light and Hollywood Social Club," her son said.

"Although my mother led a busy life, she made time for her family," he said. "We did a lot of traveling and sightseeing. And my mother never forgot her Irish roots. Although she never considered herself a good cook, she took time to cook corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day."

In addition to her son, John, Miss Walsh is survived by her daughter, Esther Seborowski of Springdale, grandchildren Dana Evans, John P. Smozski, Michelle Smozski and Philip Smozski, and great-grandchildren, Amanda and Melissa Smozski and Savannah Evans.

Mrs. Walsh was preceded in death by her husbands, Ronald Andrascik, Art Swiden and George Smozski; her brothers, Tom, Ed and Jimmy Walsh and sisters, Ann Griffin and Ellen Walsh.

Friends welcome from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Maurice Church, Forest Hills.

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