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David A. Holdsworth, expert on barbers, Civil War; Feb. 6, 1944 -- June 17, 2012

David A. Holdsworth, of Cheektowaga, an expert on barbershop and Civil War history, died Sunday at the Collins home of his brother Thomas after a short battle with cancer. He was 68.

Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Kensington High School in 1961. He graduated from a local barber school and dabbled in many areas at the University at Buffalo. He was an avid reader of Civil War history.

He worked at American Axle & Manufacturing for 30 years, retiring in the 1990s.

Mr. Holdsworth worked part time cutting hair at several local shops and also cut hair for some of his co-workers during breaks.

He was a barbershop expert who was sought after by the Rochester Museum of History and used as their expert on barber history and equipment.

He also was known for his large collection of barber tools, ranging from straight razors to barber chairs dating back to the 1700s.

Mr. Holdsworth was interviewed for the book "Coming of Age in Buffalo: Youth and Authority in the Postwar Era," by William Graebner. He's also in a 1950s photograph in the book. A traveling exhibit about music at the Buffalo Museum of Science has a poster that features one of his quotes from the book.

Survivors include two brothers, Lee and Thomas.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the home of Thomas Holdsworth, 13582 Jennings Road, Collins.

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