Charles Kenneth Quisenberry

COLUMBIA — Charles Kenneth Quisenberry was truly passionate about his career as a barber.

“He liked joking with people,” his daughter, Bethel DeSpain, said. “He was a big tease. He loved the barbering because he enjoyed talking with people.”

Mr. Quisenberry died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010, at Stuart House Nursing Home in Centralia. He was 92.

He was born May 21, 1918, to Charles C. and Ruth (Kemper) Quisenberry in Hallsville.

After graduating from Hallsville High School in 1936, he attended barber college in Kansas City for about a year. Mr. Quisenberry then returned to Columbia where he worked for two barbershops, one at MU, until he left to serve the Navy during World War II.

“He thought it was his duty,” his wife, Betty Quisenberry, said of his military service. “It didn’t seem to affect him that much.”

She said the most important thing her husband took away from his time in the Navy was his experience at electrical school in Farragut, Idaho.

He was sent to attend gyrocompass school in Treasure Island, Calif., after his time in Farragut and was then stationed on a ship in San Pedro, Calif.

Mr. Quisenberry returned to Columbia after the war and began working at Tiger Barber Shop. In 1960, he decided to start his own business, Charles Barber Shop.

“He wanted to be his own boss," Betty Quisenberry said. "He thought he could make more money in his own shop. He was there from 6 in the morning until between 5 and 6 in the evening. He wouldn’t even take off for lunch.”

Mr. Quisenberry was also fond of animals. He, his wife and children always had a dog while living on their farm on the outskirts of Columbia. One that was particularly dear to him was a German shepherd named Rex.

“In the last few years, he had a cat named Honey," DeSpain said. "He loved that cat. In fact, he had a picture of her on his wall at the nursing home.”

Mr. Quisenberry was a member of Prairie Grove Baptist Church for 53 years.

He worked in his barbershop until 2005, when he had a minor stroke that affected his leg and made it difficult for him to stand.

“That barbershop was just his life,” Betty Quisenberry said. “He was not happy about having to quit work.”

“Most people that knew Charlie liked him," she said. "He was happiest when he was in the barbershop. He loved people, and he had a lot of good friends.”

Mr. Quisenberry is survived by his wife; a daughter, Bethel DeSpain; a son, Mark Quisenberry; a brother, S.D. Quisenberry; a sister, Norma Stroupe; and a grandson, Joseph Quisenberry.

His parents, four sisters and one brother died earlier.

Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. Tenth Street. Services will be held at 11 a.m., and a burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 West.

Donations can be made to Prairie Grove Baptist Church, 860 N. East Park Lane, Columbia, MO 65201, or Lighthouse Community Church, 4275 E. Highway WW, Columbia, MO 65201.

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