Is this a regional practice? My mother and grandmother both came from Bayern.
In Bayern, Baden-Württemberg and maybe some other parts of (southern) Germany personal names are (nearly always) used with articles.
People coming from the north of Germany told me that they were very confused about this.
There are other regions in (northern?) Germany where you use the article only when talking about cattle: In these regions a cow named "Natasha" would be named "die Natascha" and a person would only be named "Natasha".
People coming to southern Germany form such a region will be very, very confused!
"Nearly always" means that names like "Herr Schmidt" or "Professor Maier" are also used with article in southern Germany:
"Der Herr Schmidt", "der Professor Maier"