One final cut: Janesville barber to retire after 60-year career

A longtime Janesville barber is set to retire after close to a 60-year career.

Burr Rote, of Rote’s Hairstyling Shop, has been cutting hair for decades. A Rock County native, Rote attended barber college after enlisting in the navy at age 18.

“I thought about (becoming a barber) when I was even younger,” he said.

Tonight on #News3Now at 6, meet a beloved Janesville barber who’s hanging up the clippers after 50+ years.

His story, only on @WISCTV_News3. pic.twitter.com/KMuu5CPX0t

— Adam Duxter (@News3Adam) October 29, 2019

After barber college, Rote took part in an apprenticeship before purchasing what would become his shop on Academy Street near Janesville’s downtown.

“Some have asked, how many haircuts have you done?” Burr said. “I don’t know, you take 50 years, probably around 300,000.”

Burr said he has earned lifelong customers during his time in Janesville. Some, who have been seeing him since they were children, now bringing in their own children.

Thursday, Rote will give his final haircut. Afterward, the 82-year-old said he’s excited to begin retirement.

“I’ve got a few thing I want to do here yet,” he said. “Maybe play a little bit more golf. Take a few more trips.”

Rote said he has sold his shop to another barber, Todd Weihr. He said Weihr plans to keep the shop’s same phone number and continue the tradition of Rote’s.

“I’m going to miss a lot of the fellas,” Rote said. “I’ve been faithful that my health has been good, and a lot of people can’t say that.”

Rote said Weihr plans to open for business on Tuesday, Nov. 5. He plans to hold a gathering for all of his customers at the Elk’s club sometime shortly after.

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