Bay View community remembers beloved longtime barber, José Ortiz

NOW: Bay View community remembers beloved longtime barber, José Ortiz

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The old school red barber chair in the shop now sits empty.

"That's where he did magic.”

Those who knew José Ortiz are saddened his presence will no longer be at his shop, Jose’s Barber Extraordinaire, located on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View.

The longtime barber died Monday at the age of 88.

"He was a very social man, he loved people, he loved being around them all the time," said Nicolaus Ortiz, his son.

During his younger years, José was in the Air Force and served in the Korean War. However, he found his way to cutting hair, and fell in love with it. He made a career of it for 60 years.

But many agree he was so much more than a barber. "He was a surrogate father figure to a lot of people, whether they knew it or not."

He also had a great impact on the neighborhood. "When people think of Milwaukee as a large small town, that's friendly, it's Jose, it's people like him," said David Moss.

He would often share a cup of coffee and have conversation with people at the nearby shop, Anodyne Coffee.

"People knew when he was here, people at the counter would light up, he had his spot, he'd sit. We were lucky to have him," said Lacee Perry, owner.

Ortiz leaves behind four children, also many other family members.

Funeral services are being held Saturday Aug. 17. For more information, visit:

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