Town’s first barber, Rolando Ruiz dies

Community Thursday, September 2, 2021

Rolando Ruiz, the first barber in Miami Lakes, died at home in Miami from natural causes on July 31, his family said.

He was 93.

The Graham Companies opened the Lake Patricia Shopping Center in 1964 and two years later, sold the barber shop in that complex to Ruiz.

Ruiz, shown in the family photo above, cut the hair of several generations of Graham men, including former U.S. Sen. and Fla. Gov. Bob Graham as well as the late company executive William E. Graham.

NFL Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula and Miami Dolphins tight end Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich, both deceased, were clients too.

A Cuban immigrant, Ruiz “learned English from his customers,” said Myriam Varela, one of his daughters who lives in Davie.

After 39 years, Ruiz sold the Miami Lakes Barbershop to his brother Mario Ruiz, whose son Richard Ruiz operates it today.

Ruiz made house calls to cut hair for longtime customers until about 2016, Varela said.

Julia Ruiz survives her husband as does another daughter, Nancy Castillo of Miami and Varela’s husband Tony Varela.

Ruiz had three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was a communicant of Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church and was one of the volunteers who planted trees that line the property, Varela said.

“Everybody loved him,” Varela said. “Everywhere he went, he met people he knew.”

Ruiz took his family on trips around the United States and to Europe, she said.