John Elric Rendell (AKA … John The Barber)
We are very saddened to inform the residents of the CBRM, Eskasoni and surrounding areas the passing of John (John The Barber) Rendell, at the age of 83, on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at home, where he was a member of the Palliative Home Care Program. After a short battle with his disease (lung cancer) John passed peacefully at home with family members who cared for him.
Born on January 9, 1938 in Bras d’Or, John was the son of the late Elric Rendell and Marium (Marsh) Rendell.
John grew up in Bras d’Or, Millcreek, Pt Aconi, Alder Point and met the love of his life “Shirley” at the Scotch Lake dance. Shortly thereafter at a very young age, they both took the train to Kitimat BC, where they made enough money to start a life back on Cape Breton Island where they built their home and raised 3 boys. At 22 years of age John graduated from barber school and commenced his career @1658 Kings Rd well known by many for 13 years initially. With the long hair becoming a trend, the barbering industry took a hit. At that time John made a career change and spent 19 amazing years as a Loss Prevention Building Inspector for The Co-operators Insurance Company - Atlantic Division where he met a group of incredible individuals who he maintained a friendship with throughout his life. All the time at his new career John still maintained his barbering skills by cutting hair in his basement for family members and friends. Once retired at the age of 55 from The Co-operators he decided to re-open the barbershop @ 1658 Kings Rd Sydney River and continued his legacy with a décor w/pictures of local people and their achievements and of course his favorite hockey team The Toronto Maple Leafs until he wasn’t able to - due to his illness at the age of 82 … giving him a total of 60 years in the profession. His last 7 years gave him great pleasure when his youngest son Gerry joined him as a barber and they were able to live out their dream together. All who knew John would definitely say he was a kind, caring, honest and a true genuine human being. Every individual that sat in his barber chair got his undivided attention and every person who entered the building was greeted by name unless of course you were a first-time customer … but then after a few minutes with him he probably was able to connect you with someone from the area. Johns' memory was exceptional and he honestly cared about every person that entered the shop, so much that when his clients were unable to visit the shop due to illness or immobility … he would go to their homes or care facilities on his day off (Monday) to provide his service. He never forgot about the people that supported him when they got sick. Over the years he seen a lot of people come and go and get sick – he often wondered what was going to be his demise but never focused on it. He kept a cheerful a friendly environment at all times and I know that each and every individual that sat in his chair has their own personal memory of John The Barber, and he will be in the conversations of many for years to come.
John is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Shirley Marie Rendell currently in the Northside Guest Home, sons - Gerry (Garlie), and Wayne (Gloria), his sister Norma Steele and sister-in-law Yvonne Bereta. He is also survived by his grandchildren Chrissy, Robert, Enykia, Rebecca, Albert, Melissa, John-Wayne, Jennifer, Jayme-Lee and Gus … also many nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren and cousins.
Besides his parents John was predeceased by his sister Greta MacIsaac, brothers Wayne and Eric and his second son Joseph Eric Rendell.
Visitation for John Rendell will be held on Thursday, March 25, 2021, from 2-4 & 7-9 pm in J. M. Jobes Funeral Home, Sydney Mines. A celebration of his life will take place Friday, at 10:30 am in St. Joseph Church, Bras d’Or, with Fr. Michel Exalant officiating. Covid 19 restrictions will be observed at the funeral home and the church. Seating in the church is limited. Words of comfort may be forwarded to his family at www.jmjobesfuneralhome.com
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