OGDEN (ABC4 News) – It’s been a difficult time for some residents in Ogden as they mourn the recent passing of local icon Willie Moore.
Frank Ortega took over Moore’s barbershop about five years ago when Moore moved to Maryland.
It’s where he died more than a week ago. He was 95 years old.
The shop is located at 196 on Historic 25th Street in Ogden.
It was at this exact location where Ortega and Moore first met.
“I met Willie probably about 2005 right toward the end of my barber college, and we came in here as a field trip,” said Ortega.
Their first encounter was the beginning of a friendship in which Ortega would go on to work with Moore who eventually became family.
“I worked with him for about seven years, six days a week,” said Ortega. “He became not only my best friend but my mentor and kind of like a father figure to me.”
It’s what makes the news of Moore’s passing so difficult to digest.
“My fondest memory with Willie is eating watermelon in the barbershop with him,” said Ortega. “A friend of ours brought in a watermelon. We didn’t have a knife, a spoon, plates or anything. Willie told me to go on down over there and grab that watermelon. Bring it on over here. So, I did. He took it right there, and broke it right over his knee, gave me half and we started eating watermelon right there with our bare hands in the barbershop.”
To this day, Moore’s pictures still decorate the shop’s window sill including one showing both Moore and Ortega working together.
Moore’s visitation will be on March 28th at Lindquist Mortuary in Layton at 7 p.m. His funeral will be the following day at St. Rosa Lima Catholic Church at 10 a.m. also in Layton.