Seth Johnson / Daily Journal: Mark Koefod cuts Troy A. Langlie’s hair in the small barbershop. Koefod is the oldest and longest-running business owner in Ashby.

Archived Story

Ashby barber has done 150,000 cuts [UPDATED]

Published 10:30am Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Updated 10:30am Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Customers don’t have to say a word about their hair when they walk into Mark Koefod’s Barbershop in Ashby. After cutting more than 150,000 heads of hair in 45 years as the only barber in the area, Koefod knows what everyone in the town wants their hair to look like.

Koefod is the oldest and longest running business owner in Ashby, and he works out of a small, one-chair barbershop downtown that his brother built in the 1970s.

“I love doing this,” he said. “The people are my favorite part about this job.”

Koefod was born in Ashby and graduated in 1957. He has spent only 10 years of his life outside of Ashby. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1957, and served until 1960.

“When the recruiter asked me where I was born, I said Fergus Falls,” Koefod said. “They didn’t have any record that I was ever born. That’s when I found out I was born in my house in Ashby.”

After he was discharged, Koefod married Yvonne Torgrinson. He then worked at a hardware wholesaler in Minneapolis for five years while waiting to enter barber school. After attending barber school and working as an apprentice in Richfield for two years, he received his master barbers license.

“The local barber in Ashby was quitting, and he said ‘If you want the place, you can have it the first of August,’” said Koefod. “So the last day of July, he moved out, and I moved in on the first of August.”

Since he moved back to Ashby, Koefod has been involved with the community in several other ways. He worked as a part time school janitor for 28 years, volunteered for the fire department for 23 years and worked at the cemetery for around 20 years.

“I don’t like leaving Ashby,” said Koefod. “I’ve been on two vacations. Once to Branson Mo. and once to Hawaii.”

Koefod has three children: Pam, Randy and Craig. He is now married to Marsha Koefod.

Even though he’s in his mid-70s, Koefod has no plans to retire. He said the job is what keeps him going.

“I’ll work here as long as I can,” he said. “I’ll keep doing this until I can’t go anymore.”

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