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An act of love goes full circle



Jack Burkes learning to do his wife’s hair (courtesy of A. Sevier)

When 93-year-old Jack Burkes walked into Happy Hair on Wisconsin Avenue in Vicksburg, Ashley Sevier was thinking the gentleman must be lost. She asked him if she could help him find something or somewhere and his request took her by surprise and warmed her heart. 

Burkes wanted to know if someone could help him learn to use a curling wand and apply makeup for his 90-year-old wife. He explained that her vision was failing her and she was burning herself when she tried to style her hair. Mrs. Burkes is also suffering from Alzheimer’s, but her husband said she would be embarrassed if she knew she was “receiving visitors” without being her usual, dolled-up self.

Mr. Jack Burkes learning to do his wife’s hair
(photo by A. Sevier)

He lovingly pulled out his wallet and  showed Sevier a picture of his beautiful, young bride and said he needed to be able to attain that look for her at home. He bragged about how beautiful and talented she has always been, and said her appearance had always been very important to her.

Sevier was quite touched by Mr. Burkes because he reminded her of her own “Granddaddy”, Leonard  Fuller. Fuller passed away at the age of 87, and his wife had suffered from macular degeneration.

Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Fuller
(Photo by A. Sevier)

“It had to be God sending Mr. Burkes to me, because I had done the same thing for Granddaddy. They (Sevier’s grandparents) would come in every Thursday to let me wash, style and set her hair.”

Sevier taught Burkes how to protect his wife’s skin, how to safely use a curling iron and how to apply mascara and lipstick. She worked with Mr. Burkes for a few weeks, usually on Wednesday afternoons.

When asked if she charged Burkes for her services, she replied, “Oh my goodness, no! In this age where everything is so fake and filtered and staged, it was just nice to see such a real, authentic act of love.”

Yes, Ashley. I couldn’t agree more.


Ashley Sevier and Mrs. Leonard Fuller on their weekly beauty appointment
(Photo courtesy of A. Sevier)

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