Eugene G. Szydel

Eugene G. Szydel spent his career cutting hair, a career that suited his outgoing personality, but his passion could be found in the gardens around his home.

“We have over an acre, and it’s filled with gardens and beds,” his wife Joan said. “Hosta gardens, rose beds, begonias, impatients — you name it, we’ve got it. We had people stop and walk around our yard. People would say, ‘You should have weddings here.’

“He would be out there from 8:30 in the morning until it was dark, then turn on the lights and work in the front yard. He really loved it.”

In addition to flowers, the gardens also contained vegetables and fruits, Mrs. Szydel said.

Mr. Szydel died of complications from a brain tumor Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Lawlis Family Hospice in Mequon. He was 83.

He was a native of Kewaunee, born on July 19, 1934, to Joseph and Pauline Brusky Szydel.

After graduating from Kewaunee High School, he attended barber school in Green Bay.

The barber business fit Mr. Szydel, his wife said.

“He was very outgoing. Everybody liked him,” she said. “He had some great customers.”

Mr. Szydel set up shop in Milwaukee, where he owned and operated the Mug & Brush Barber Shop for more than 60 years.

The shop had four locations through the years — one across the street from the Pfister Hotel. Visiting sports team members would often head to the shop for a trim.

“Paul Hornung tried to get in once, but he was booked,” his wife said.

Mr. Szydel enjoyed polka music and dancing, and at one dance met Joan Sigl. The couple married at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tonet on May 12, 1962.

The couple moved to Brown Deer to start their family before moving to Grafton.

Mr. Szydel, who served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955, was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grafton.

He enjoyed traveling with his wife and friends, and they often visited Las Vegas and Branson, Mo., where he would try his hand at the tables or see a new act on the stage.

He also enjoyed playing sheepshead and other card games with friends and family, as well as cheering his grandchildren at their various activities.

Mr. Szydel is survived by his wife Joan of Grafton, sons Kevin of Grafton and Keith of Port Washington and grandchildren Kyle, Jenna and Keegan Szydel.

He is further survived by his brothers Gary (Maryann) Szydel of Kewaunee and Darrel( Julie) Szydel of Two Rivers.

Mr. Szydel was preceded in death by his parents, sister Charlotte, brothers Alfred and Arnold, sister-in-law Marjorie DeMuth and brother-in-law Harold DeMuth.

A Mass of Christian burial for Mr. Szydel will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 7, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grafton. Father Mike Barrett will officiate.

Visitation will be at the church from 9 a.m. April 7 until the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to North Suburban Special Olympics, c/o Greater Milwaukee Special Olympics, 10224 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Eernisse Funeral Home, Cedarburg.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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