A MILFORD Haven barber who was ahead of his time and “well-loved by everyone” has died, at the age of 83.
Italian-born Frank Todaro passed away peacefully on Monday, after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Paying tribute to his father, his son Domenico said Frank had ‘a strong personality, great principles, and always stuck by them’.
“He thought it was important to work for what you want and not have it handed to you on a plate,” he said.
“He started from nothing and built the business up to what it is today.”
Frank came to Pembrokeshire in 1959 to work as a boilers’s mate on the construction of the Esso refinery in Milford Haven.
He began cutting hair in his lunch breaks to make a few extra pounds on the side, and when the refinery was completed, he carried on with the scissors, working in various barber shops in Haverfordwest.
He opened his first salon in 1962, where the sign over the door read ‘Frank Todaro Continental Hairdresser’.
Frank’s children Domenico, Michael, and Maria soon joined the family business, helping out after school.
Domenico said his father always looked after the business’s new recruits.
“He was always the first one to take them aside and teach them – he had a lot of patience and way with him. He could talk to anyone.”
The business moved to 96 Charles Street in 1963, and four years on expanded into ladies’ hairdressing in the room next door. And in 1983, the family opened a second successful salon in Haverfordwest salon.
Over the years, Frank revolutionised hairdressing in the town, rubbing heads with top names such as Toni and Guy during their early days, and even cutting celebrity stylist Lee Stafford’s hair.
“He will be sadly missed by everyone in the town,” said Domenico. “He was one of the last original shopkeepers in Charles Street.”
“He could talk to people at their level, and they loved him for it.”