IPSWICH — A black ribbon was tied to the pole outside Ye Olde Barber Shop yesterday as many in town mourned the loss of its owner, Brian H. Lombard.
Lombard, 72, was killed during a single-car crash at the intersection of Essex and Candlewood roads around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, after his car went off the road and struck a tree. Police believe that a medical condition may have caused the accident, which is still under investigation.
The shop at 44 Central St. was closed yesterday.
“Nobody expected this,” said Charlie Tsoutsouras, the owner of Central Shoe Repair nearby. “I saw him last week walking over to the Cumberland Farms to get coffee for everybody, and he walked back.”
Tsoutsouras said Lombard, a retired state trooper, continued to cut hair a couple of days a week.
“Everyone knew Brian,” he said. “He was as popular as a local can be.”
Lombard grew up in Ipswich and Hamilton and graduated in 1958 from Hamilton High School, where he was voted best athlete. He enlisted in the service and then studied criminal justice at North Shore Community College.
Lombard worked as patrolman in Ipswich, starting part time in 1963 and moving up to full time in 1966. He left the department in 1969 to become a state trooper, where he moved up the ranks to staff sergeant.
After retiring in the early 1990s, he opened Ye Olde Barber Shop in a small storefront connected to the shoe repair shop. There was only one chair and a classic black-and-white title floor, recalled Kevin Lombard, Lombard’s youngest son.
“I remember helping him set it all up,” he said. “It was something for him to do after retiring.”
The shop became so popular, he ended up moving to a building next door, which had more room for chairs.
“From the day he opened that barber shop, it was successful,” Tsoutsouras said. “Everybody loved him. It became the most popular shop in town.”