Barber's skill with cuts, sports talk attracted clients
To the older crowd in the Monroeville and Monongahela Valley areas, barber Pat Cantola's shop was the place to go for a fine haircut and good conversation.
“Although Dad's customers worked hard for their pay, they didn't require or appreciate a shampoo or a manicure, but just a plain cut with a lot of conversation as to the fortunes of the Pirates or the Steelers,” said Bruce Cantola of Penn Township.
“His customers included TV personalities such as Adam Lynch and nearly all of the policemen and firefighters in Monroeville.”
Patsy R. “Pat” Cantola of Monroeville, former owner of Pat's Barber Shop at Young's Corner in Monroeville, died on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, in Arden Court, Monroeville. He was 83.
Bruce Cantola said his father was popular and at one time was so busy that he operated two shops in Monroeville.
“Our house was a duplex, where Dad had his shop on one side and we lived in the other half. As kids, my brother Pat and I would sweep the floor and clean the mirrors and the bathroom.”
Born and raised in White Station, Indiana County, Mr. Cantola was one of six children of coal miner Pasquale Cantola and his wife, Ida Cantola, who emigrated from Italy.
He was a 1948 graduate of Saltsburg High School and followed his father into the coal mines, where he worked until he was called to active duty during the Korean War.
“Dad, who served in the war zones of Korea, was proud to have served his country when he was needed,” his son said.
After his discharge from the military in 1953, Mr. Cantola enrolled in the Pittsburgh Barber School in the North Side, where he received his license. He worked in several barbershops before opening a shop in Monroeville in 1960.
Mr. Cantola was an avid hunter, fisherman and golfer, and enjoyed spending time at a camp in Potter County.
In addition to his son, Bruce, Mr. Cantola is survived by his children, Nanette Tedesco of Monroeville, Patrick Cantola of Penn Township and Mark Cantola of Murrysville; his former wife, Janet Morrison of Harrison City; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a twin sister, Ida Dixon of Apollo.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday in Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, Monroeville/Turtle Creek Chapel, 1111 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Colman Church in Turtle Creek.
Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.