Beloved local barber Juan 'Johnny' Garcia dies from COVID-19

Posted at 11:38 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 22:02:45-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A well known local barber has died from COVID-19.

Former city council at-large member David Loeb announced Juan "Johnny" Garcia's death early Wednesday morning in a Facebook post.

Garcia was 72 years old.

"Johnny died today after a long battle with COVID," Loeb said in the post. "My heart goes out to his wife Gloria and his kids who he was so proud of. He was a giant in the hair cutting and political worlds but he'd always get most animated talking about the boys and Bianca and what they were up to."

KRIS 6 anchor Lee Sausley did a story on Garcia back in 2017.

Lee found out that Garcia grew up in Robstown and said he always wanted to be a barber.

In 1967, at the age of just 19, he already had his license and he bought the Hamlin Barber Salon on Weber Road for $14,000. Lyndon Johnson was president, the nation was in the midst of the Vietnam war, and Garcia was just starting to hit his stride.

Four years later, he bought the South Texas Barber College and started to teach. He was so good enough at teaching that it enabled him to take his skills out of Corpus Christi.

"I've traveled to 47 states and Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico... and I was commissioned to be the team trainer for the United States team at the Barcelona games in Spain," Garcia said.

Along the way, he also became a national champion, and an international guest artist, which means he was licensed to cut hair in all 50 states and other countries.

According to Loeb's post. Garcia cut the hair of four presidents and dozens of mayors, judges, and congressmen.