Cliff Gebhard, long-time East Side barber, passed away Jan. 24 at St. John's Hospital at the age of 72.
Gebhard operated a successful barber shop at the corner of Minnehaha Avenue and Stillwater Road starting in 1968. It was still going strong in June 2013, but Gebhard closed it following the diagnosis that he had stomach cancer.
The quirky shop exemplified Gebhard's humor and the friendships he'd formed with his customers. It featured a cactus garden out front and an interior filled with bric-a-brac: a Coca-Cola fishing pole, a vintage "information" light, postcards and snapshots from customers, a "jackalope," abundant indoor plants, and a squirt gun Gebhard kept filled to shoot at any customer talking on a cellphone in the shop.
Mike Moreland, who was a customer of Gebhard's for 25 years, said the barber's charm kept him coming back.
"Once you got to know Cliff, you wouldn't go any place else," Moreland said. "He's an avid conversationalist and he was always a great barber."
Gebhard is survived by his wife Val, his three married songs, Dan (Mickey), Tom (Julie), and Steve (Amy); his six grandkids, Steve, Cory, Jake, Jesse, Abby, and Brooke; his brother Dave (Bev) and sisters Gloria and Pat; his siblings-in-law Marilee (John) and Tom (Sue); and many close friends and relatives.
A celebration of Gebhard's life will be held at noon Saturday, Feb. 1 at Eastern Heights Lutheran Church, 616 Ruth St. Visitations are scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday as well as from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.
In Gebhard's honor, the family requests that visitors wear plaid or flannel shirts and jeans. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.
-- Patrick Larkin