Longtime Floyd County barber dies after 59 years behind the clippers

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - He was known for playing the piano and going to church, but mainly for cutting hair for decades.

A longtime Floyd County barber, 85-year-old Gary Wright, died Friday after health complications.

Wright's Hair Styling is known for loud conversations and the buzz of clippers.

"He obviously was a popular barber," said one friend, Mike Campbell.

However, now the bar is quiet.

"They lost a very, very compassionate person," Campbell pointed out.

There is an empty chair where Gary Wright cut hair for 59 years.

"When he met someone, he didn't just speak to them. He wanted to know them," recalled Campbell.

Campbell told WYMT he knew Wright his entire life.

"When my grandparents or parents would bring me to town, we would always end up in the barbershop," Campbell said, with a smile on his face.

Many in Prestonsburg can tell that same story.

When Wright was not at his chair, you could find him at church.

"Probably perfect attendance for Sunday school for over 12 years. He had never missed a Sunday," said Tom Biddle.

Biddle is the pastor for the Prestonsburg First Baptist Church.

"One of our long-time members and one of our most faithful members before he became ill," explained Biddle.

Wright had a big personality and heart to match.

"He was more than just a barber. It was an experience going there," Biddle recalled.

Although many went to Wright for a hair cut, they left with much more.

"If they needed some money for something, he would just donate it and give it," said Biddle.

His death left an empty seat at church, in his shop, and the hearts of many.

"A town and family icon," Campbell pointed out.

Visitation for Gary Wright will be held at 5:00 p.m. Friday at the Irene Cole Memorial First Baptist Church.

His funeral service will be at the church Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

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