Beckley barber hangs up the clippers after 53 years

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – For 53 years, Everett Reece has been cutting hair. On Friday, a party was held at his shop in Beckley to send him into retirement the right way with food, a line for haircuts and music filling the shop. For so many, he has been so much more than a barber and his shop has been so much more than a place of business.

“I went in the Navy and anyways, had a job I didn’t like and I went down and asked if I could be a barber and I went to beautician school to start with and realized that wasn’t for me before I went in the Navy, so I ended up being a barber on the ship, fell in love with it, and I think it was my calling,” Reece said. “In 53 years, I have never ever dreaded coming through that door to come to work and most people can’t say that.”

Jill Reece, his daughter, felt like she grew up in the shop and called the day bittersweet.

“It’s sad. I spent 41 years of my life in this building so meeting the people that he cared for and helped, no matter what they needed, will always mean a lot,” she said.

Everett’s Barber Shop off of Harper Road has not just been a place to get a good cut either. For years, it has been a local music hub open to whoever wants to come play or even learn.

“A lot of musicians in this country got their start playing here in some of those years,” Fonnice Murdock, a local musician, said. “Guys would come in learning to play instruments. There’s a lot of really good musicians today, but they got their start right here in Everett’s Barber Shop.”

Everett prides himself on cutting the hair of veterans, military members and law enforcement officers but also young people, as he uses his job to share his faith.

“One of the main reasons I come here for a haircut is he always has something to tell you about the Lord and the Lord’s been a big thing in Everett’s life recently,” Joe Layne, a friend and client, said. “He always prays for my family and he prays for everybody in the community.”

And according to Everett, that is what he hopes his legacy will be.

“I know it’s been a very good impact because I have had a lot of people come and ask me to pray for them, so that tells me I’m setting the right example, so that’s the impact,” he said.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com