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OBIT: Johnnie I. Adamek

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  • Ray J. Bacak
    MySanAntonio.com, 1/3/04 01/03/2004 Johnnie I. Adamek, age 99, of San Antonio, died Wednesday, December 31, 2003. He was born in Yoakum, TX on May 10, 1904 to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2004
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      MySanAntonio.com, 1/3/0401/03/2004
      Johnnie I. Adamek, age 99, of San Antonio, died Wednesday, December 31, 2003.
       He was born in Yoakum, TX on May 10, 1904 to Josef and Katherine Adamek. Mr. Adamek owned a barbershop at 811 South St. Mary's for 58 years. He had hundreds of friends.
      He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille B. Adamek. Survivors: son, David V. Adamek and wife, Susan, Boerne; daughter, Patricia Mary Seidenberger and husband, Owen R., San Antonio; grandchildren, Jason, Chris, Grace, Amy and Faith; great grandchildren, Amanda, Emma, Joshua and Gracen; brother, Charlie Adamek and wife, Lil, Kerrville, TX. He was loved by all.
      VIGIL SERVICE/ROSARY SATURDAY 1:30 P.M. MASS 2:00 P.M ST. MATTHEW'S CATHOLIC CHURCH Interment in Sunset Memorial Park. Arrangements with Porter Loring Mortuary.
      Adamek ran Johnnie's Barber Shop for nearly six decades
      Web Posted : 01/03/2004
      His shop was a downtown fixture for nearly 60 years, the place where judges, lawyers, city officials and other prominent San Antonians got haircuts, shaves and news of the latest goings-on.

      In more than 60 years as a barber, Johnnie I. Adamek gave hundreds of thousands of haircuts.

      The retired barber died Wednesday of kidney failure. He was 99.

      Born in Yoakum on May 10, 1904 — he was one of nine children — Adamek took a correspondence course on barbering, left his father's farm, and moved to San Antonio.

      "He practiced on his siblings and got out of there as soon as he could, because there was no money to be made in Yoakum," said his son David V. Adamek of Boerne.

      In his early 20s, Johnnie Adamek was hired by a man who owned the San Antonio barbershop Adamek would buy a few years later for $500.

      After he took over the business in 1927, Adamek changed the name to Johnnie's Barber Shop.

      At 811 S. St. Mary's St., it was near what is now the King William District. On the same block as the barbershop were a café and a boot shop famous for its custom-made cowboy boots.

      Lawyers' offices now occupy the site, but in the years the shop was there, it was the meeting place for many people who worked downtown.

      A full-service barbershop, it had two other barbers and a shoeshine man.

      David Adamek said his father had a few female customers, but for the most part, his large clientele included people who worked at Jordan Ford when it was still near downtown, Pioneer Flour Mill, the courthouse, City Hall and the nearby Marine recruiting office.

      "One of his regulars was Judge Anderson, for whom Anderson Loop (Loop 1604) was named," David Adamek said. "When I was a kid, Judge Anderson would come in several times a week to get a shave."

      Bexar County Judge Charles W. Anderson, who was first elected in 1939 and served until 1964, usually got his hair cut by Johnnie Adamek once a week.

      Several times a month, Adamek would close his shop at the regular hour — it was generally open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday — and head to the hospital where longtime clients were patients.

      The barber would shave off the stubble with a long razor and cut their hair, and if they were dying, he'd fuss with them a little longer.

      "It was a blessing for him, too," David Adamek said.

      After 58 years of running his shop, Adamek closed Johnnie's Barber Shop in 1985.

      His wife, Lucille Adamek, died in 1995.

      Other survivors include a daughter, Patricia Mary Seidenberger of San Antonio; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother, Charlie Adamek of Kerrville.

      Service are scheduled for today at St. Matthew's Catholic Church at 10703 Wurzbach Road, with a vigil and rosary set for 1:30 p.m. and a Mass at 2 p.m.

      Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Park on Austin Highway.


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