Paul “the Barber” Chachulski dies

EVERETT — Paul Barber, the barber of North Broadway who didn’t raise his prices for 15 years, died Oct. 22 from injuries he sustained in a fall. He was 65.

A Michigan native, he moved to Washington from San Diego in the mid-1970s.

He had been bound for Alaska to work on the trans-Alaska pipeline. He stopped for gas and a coffee, he told The Herald last year, saying “the gas was bad and the coffee was good.”

So instead of continuing north, he settled in Everett and eventually started cutting hair, opening his first shop on Broadway in 1985. He started calling himself Paul Barber (his last name was Chachulski), which is how most people remember him and his one-man shop, which relocated in 2000 to 1001 Broadway, across from Everett Community College.

The barbershop is now closed. He had planned to close it Oct. 31 and retire, his wife, Molly Chachulski, said.

Business had slowed down in recent years, and construction of the new University Center building in the parking lot outside his shop kept traffic away.

In May 2014, the Chachulskis’ home at 2010 23rd St. burned down. They discovered after the fact that they were underinsured, and began a nine-month ordeal to collect on the policy and pay off their mortgage so they could start over.

They eventually did resolve the insurance issues and in April bought a home on three-quarters of an acre in Tulalip, Chachulski said.

The couple were avid gardeners with a plot at the Red Barn Community Farm in the Lowell neighborhood. They gave up that plot to garden at their new home.

Barber and Chachulski met in Index in 1981 and bonded over a mutual love of science fiction.

“I didn’t really like him much when I first met him, but he was really interesting,” she said.

He was also generous, and rushed to her aid when she had trouble with her son’s school in the Sultan School District, a broken-down car and a broken leg all at once.

“I decided at that point that even if he was kind of a jerk he was going to be my friend for the rest of his life, or my life, whichever came first,” she said.

They began a friendship that survived long periods of separation while Chachulski took care of family in Michigan or worked in Alaska.

Romance came slowly and they married in 2009. A year later, Chachulski retired and moved back to Washington and into Barber’s 1910 bungalow, where they remained until the fire.

Barber was a musician, able to play French horn, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and flute. He could pick his way around a keyboard, guitar, harmonica or a nose harp, one of his favorite instruments, Chachulski said.

He was always generous with his time or money.

“I was frequently ticked with him for giving away all his money to people who came to the barbershop in need,” Chachulski said.

“He said he’d been homeless twice in his life and couldn’t say no,” she said.

Paul Chachulski born July 10, 1950, in Royal Oak, Michican, to Stanley and Margaret Chachulski. He is survived by his wife, Molly Chachulski of Tulalip, and two stepchildren, Victor Drake of Seattle and Janet Compton of West Richland. He also is survived by his brother, Frank Chachulski of Everett, and his sister, Fran Thompson of Arizona.

A memorial service will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Carl Gipson Senior Center, 3025 Lombard Ave., Everett. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the senior center.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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