Charles Davis, 1921-2013: West Toledo barber aided Coast Guard


Charles Davis, who ran his own West Toledo neighborhood barber shop for 52 years, died Saturday at Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek.

He was 92.

He had cancer of the colon and suffered from a bad heart, according to his daughter, Diane Bohland.

Mr. Davis had a loyal following of customers and friends at his “Chuck’s Barber Shop” at the corner of Perth Street and Olds Avenue, just off Bancroft Street.

“He loved it. That’s why he didn’t quit,” his daughter said of Mr. Davis, who retired when he was 83.

She said he was serious, but that he “loved the camaraderie of his friends. These boys, they liked to sit around and talk and have coffee.”

Born in Fostoria to John and Ruth Davis, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II from 1942 to 1945.

Mrs. Bohland said he was proud of his service and that he worked in an office aboard ship and possibly in port, as well.

He married the former Mary Louise Reinhart in 1945.

He was a barber for 58 years, retiring in 2004.

Mrs. Bohland said her father was a devout Catholic and active member of Gesu Catholic Church though he didn’t become Catholic until 1949. He was active in Gesu’s 50 Plus club, bowling league, Holy Name Society, and softball league, and played cards with the Trilby and Gesu pinochle clubs.

He was also a member of the Margaret Hunt Senior Center and American Legion 642.

He graduated from the Toledo Barber College and started working at Bailey’s Barber Shop on Upton Avenue in 1946.

In June, 1952, he took over a shop that had been used by barbers since 1931, and he kept the gold-colored “Barber” on the window. He wrote a check for $35 to open the place.

Mrs. Bohland said her father joined a barbers’ union early in his career.

And he stayed in the union when it became part of Local 911 of United Food and Commercial Workers, even after he took over the one-man shop.

Mrs. Bohland said she or her siblings would go over to the barber shop about 6 p.m. every day to help him sweep the floors and empty the ashtrays.

Then they would walk the next street over to their home on Evansdale Avenue where her mother had dinner on the table at 6:30 p.m.

“Usually one of us always went over so it would get him home quicker for dinner,” she said.

He was an avid fisherman and displayed in his store a mounted 10-pound, 2-ounce, 30-inch walleye that he caught in Lake Erie.

He went to live in the nursing home in November, 2010, because of the amount of care that he required.

One of the highlights for him was when he received more than 150 cards on his 90th birthday from friends who had been contacted by Mrs. Bohland.

Surviving are his wife of 68 years, Mary Louise; sons, Jeff, Randy, and Dan; daughters, Diane Bohland and Debbie Reese; sister, Anna Louise Abell, and 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Visitation is 2-9 p.m. Wednesday at Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave., and at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Gesu Catholic Church where the funeral is at 10:30 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to Odyssey Hospice or Gesu 50 Plus Club.

Contact Tom Troy at: or 419-724-6058.