Allen Walter Lavinder, a lifetime resident of South Bend and town barber for 65 years, passed away on Dec. 10, 2022, in Aberdeen, Washington. He was 93 years old. Allen was born in South Bend on Feb. 25, 1929, the son of Walt and Julia (Abbott) Lavinder. He spent most of his life on Alta Vista hill, where he grew up with his three brothers and later built a home with a sweeping view of the Willapa River and town he loved so much. Allen attended schools in South Bend and played football and basketball.
After graduation he joined the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War. He married the love of his life, Shiela Fisher in 1951, and they spent two years living in Austin, Texas while he was based out of Bergstrom Airforce Base. In 1952, his daughter Shelley was born. After two deployments to Korea, Allen received an honorable discharge and moved back to South Bend.
He went on to barber college in Tacoma and later opened his own shop in South Bend where he became the iconic “Al the Barber” for the next 65 years. Well known in his community, he cut hair for many generations of families. In 1955, his son Ronald Allen was born and died at birth. In 1957, his beloved son Brian was born. Allen was a loving family man who taught his children his excellent work ethic and wisdom of treating all people with respect and kindness whether agreeing with them or not.
He was a kind and modest man who always shared his ideas and life philosophies with his family during his legendary Sunday drives after church. There were always annual family vacations and later he and Shiela would travel more extensively. He especially loved cruises. In later years, he and Shiela would often drive to Tokeland and North Cove to watch their beloved Standard poodle run on the beach.
Allen loved to golf and once got a hole-in-one at the Raymond golf course. Allen was a well-liked businessman who never turned down anyone who needed a haircut. Customers would often pay him by barter, and Allen was always bringing home blackberries, fresh salmon and oysters and other local delicacies.
He cut hair for those in need who were shut-ins or in nursing homes and hospitals, even the county jail; he would go anywhere he was needed. He also owned and operated the South Bend Liquor Store that shared his historical building on Hwy 101 going through South Bend. He installed a door between the two businesses and operated both, cutting hair and stepping behind the liquor store counter when needed. Allen was a longtime member of the South Bend United Methodist Church, the Chamber of Commerce, The Veterans of Foreign War, the Honor Guard, The Elks and American Legion.
He was also a volunteer fireman with the South Bend Fire Department for many years. Allen was preceded in death by his parents Walt and Julia Lavinder and his brothers; Frank, Clyde and Gary Lavinder; and his sons Ronald Allen Lavinder and Brian Allen Lavinder. He is survived by his wife Shiela of the family home in South Bend; his daughter Shelley (Floyd) Plemmons of Aberdeen; grandchildren Kyle and Kelsey; and great-grandchildren: Kaiden, Brooklyn, Kennady and Braxton. There will be a private family graveside service.
Arrangements are by Bayview Funeral Home. Please leave your condolences or share a memory online at Bayviewfuneralhome.com. The family suggests donations to Children’s Orthopedic Hospital, PO Box 5371 , Seattle WA 98145-5005 or the charity of your choice.