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Article updated: 2/22/2013 11:49 AM

Elgin barber, 80, back at work after 2 strokes

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Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com Ralph Ward cuts the hair of longtime customer Don Meyer of South Elgin Wednesday at Ralph's Barber Shop in Elgin. He is likely the oldest working barber in the area and turns 80 years old on Friday.

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Ralph Ward, the owner of Ralph's Barber Shop in Elgin, is likely the longest practicing barber in Elgin. He stunned everyone by getting back to work full-time just a few months after having open heart and bypass surgery in August 2012. He turns 80 Friday.

Rick West | Staff Photographer

Ralph Ward jokes with another customer while working on Don Meyer of South Elgin this week at Ralph's Barber Shop in Elgin. Ward, who turns 80 today, is likely the longest practicing barber in Elgin.

Rick West | Staff Photographer

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When longtime Elgin barber Ralph Ward suffered back-to-back strokes last August, he knew one thing -- he wanted to get back to work as soon as possible. True to his word, Ralph stunned everyone by going to work part-time just before Thanksgiving. After a few weeks, he was back to working his usual 40 hours a week. "I wouldn't know what else to do anyhow," he said.
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    • Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com Ralph Ward cuts the hair of longtime customer Don Meyer of South Elgin Wednesday at Ralph's Barber Shop in Elgin. He is likely the oldest working barber in the area and turns 80 years old on Friday.
    • Ralph Ward, the owner of Ralph’s Barber Shop in Elgin, is likely the longest practicing barber in Elgin. He stunned everyone by getting back to work full-time just a few months after having open heart and bypass surgery in August 2012. He turns 80 Friday.
    • Ralph Ward jokes with another customer while working on Don Meyer of South Elgin this week at Ralph’s Barber Shop in Elgin. Ward, who turns 80 today, is likely the longest practicing barber in Elgin.
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