Volume 80, Number 41 | March 10 -16, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Frank Gonçalves and Cookie on Ninth Ave. in the Meatpacking District.
Frank Gonçalves, 84, barber who loved music and family
By Albert Amateau
Frank Gonçalves, a longtime Chelsea resident who worked as a barber in Greenwich Village for more than 30 years, died at his home in the Robert Fulton Houses on Sat., Feb. 26, at the age of 84.
Known as Frank G. where he worked at Nick’s Hair Stylists on Horatio St. from 1976 until 2006, he was a man of irrepressible spirits who loved to play banjo and drums, said his youngest son, Khalid.
“He lived for the moment, putting on shows and dancing at the Hudson Guild Senior Center, but his greatest joy was being with his family,” Khalid said.
He was born to Maria da Luz and Antonio Gonçalves in Portugal, where he grew up and married Gertrudes Pires in 1950. In Portugal, he was the leader of a children’s music group and played drums and banjo.
He emigrated with his wife and three of his four children in 1968 to the U.S. where his youngest son was born. Frank was active in the Portuguese community in Soho, organizing trips and variety shows in St. Anthony’s Hall on Sullivan St.
“He was also the leader of a Portuguese folk dance group that appeared on television in the early 1970’s,” Khalid said.
The family moved to the Robert Fulton Houses in 1976 when Frank began working at Nick’s. Prior to that he worked as a barber in Midtown, according to his daughter, Cristina.
After his wife died in 1992, their longhaired Chihuahua named Cookie was his constant companion.
“He and Cookie were inseparable; they would take long walks together in the Village,” Khalid said. Frank was first diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and the tumor was removed successfully but the illness recurred in 2006 and he began chemotherapy soon after.
In addition to Khalid and Cristina, his eldest son, Frank, and a daughter, Isabel, survive. He also leaves eight grandchildren.
The funeral was at 10 a.m. Wed., March 2, at St. Anthony’s Church and burial was in Hillside, N.J., in Evergreen Cemetery next to his wife. Redden’s Funeral Home, on W. 14th St., was in charge of arrangements.