Dorenda Gambrell Huffman, the longtime owner and operator of The Hair Hut on Paris Pike, died Sunday. She was 51.
She was known for making the salon in the Whitaker Bank shopping center near Joyland Bowl a fun place to be.
"She never met a stranger," said Mrs. Huffman's sister, Delinda Arnold. She was "a very outgoing and friendly person."
She also loved Shelties and always brought her dog with her to work, much to the delight of many customers.
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"Nobody else cuts my hair," said Mike Meighan, an area football coach who said he has been a customer since Mrs. Huffman began operating the shop. "I don't know what to do now. I'm all shaggy."
He said Mrs. Huffman knew just how to cut his hair, depending on the season.
She also had an "infectious" laugh and enjoyed listening to him spin yarns. Sometimes, Meighan said, "she couldn't even cut the hair, she was laughing so hard."
"It was like a hangout," he said of the shop.
Mrs. Huffman also loved to travel and visited Turkey, Greece, France and other locales.
Arnold said her sister liked to say that "some people work to live. Other people live to work. I work to travel."
"She really wanted to enjoy life," Arnold said.
In March, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
"It's very fast-growing, and there's no cure," Arnold said of the form of cancer her sister had.
Weakened by chemotherapy and radiation treatments, she developed pneumonia and complications from it, Arnold said.
"I lost my best friend," she said.
In addition to her sister, she is survived by her husband, Russell E. Huffman, Jr.; stepson Russell E. Huffman III; parents Walter and Dora Gambrell; brother Dennis Gambrell; and granddaughter Sydney Huffman.
Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Road. Services will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.