Brian Lombard — known simply as BH — was described as outgoing and personable by many people in downtown Ipswich yesterday.
“He was a character and loved to joke around if he knew you,” said John Gianakakis Jr., who owns John’s Citgo across the street from the shop. “He never liked to gossip, though. You could go in there and feel comfortable just talking.”
Gianakakis said he enjoyed seeing the same group of men line up outside the shop every Saturday before it opened at 7 a.m.
“It was almost like a fight; they wanted to be the first in the chair,” he said.
Police Chief Paul Nikas, who grew up in town and is friends with Kevin Lombard, remembered Brian as a “hockey and football dad” who was always at the games. He said Lombard was quick-witted and loved joking around.
“You always had to be on your feet intellectually around him, because he was quick with a joke,” Nikas said. “He was a great guy and well-liked.”
Nikas said Lombard was well-known in the department, and most of the officers got their hair cut in his shop.
Lombard and his wife, Barbara, were married for 51 years and had four children, Brian Jr., Michael, Kristen and Kevin, and 12 grandchildren.
Brian Lombard lived an active lifestyle and enjoyed skiing near his second home in Bartlett, N.H. He also had an antique tractor collection.
“He loved to tinker around with projects,” Kevin Lombard said.
Basketball and football were his sports and he often got teased around town for being an avid New York Giants fan. During the Super Bowl in 2012, when the Pats faced off against the Giants, a sign hung in the door to Stone Soup: “No Lombards,” Kevin Lombard remembered.
“Before the Pats were around, the Giants were the hometown team,” he said. “He wanted to stay true to that.”