Retirement draws near for Martin hairdresser

Retirement draws near for Martin hairdresser

Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:02 pm

Union City native Nita Phebus has seen a wide range of hairstyles during her 34-year career as a hairdresser. After 26 years with J. Marlin’s in downtown Martin, Mrs. Phebus is hanging up her clippers later this month.
It’s time to retire for Mrs. Phebus, and salon owner Jeff Wright said he is really going to miss the hairdresser who has had the most influence on his career as a hairdresser.
“She’s been my right arm,” Wright said. “She’s taught me everything I know.”
A retirement reception will be held for Mrs. Phebus at J. Marlin’s from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 15.
That will be her final day at work.
Mrs. Phebus is a 1967 graduate of Union City High School and is the wife of Dick Phebus, who worked for many years for the Institute for Public Service at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He retired from there in August and is now working as the finance director in Bartlett, a growing suburb of Memphis.
The couple has two children, Jay 44, who lives in Bartlett and Kelly Davis, 39, of Nashville.
Mrs. Phebus’ mother, Mary Katherine McKinnis and the widow of former Obion County Judge Dan McKinnis, still lives in Obion County.
Mrs. Phebus said, “I still consider Union City my home.”
It was when she and her husband were living in Nashville in the mid-70s that Mrs. Phebus remembers visiting a neighborhood beauty school. It was that visit that launched her career.
Looking back on her long and enjoyable career as a hairdresser at J. Marlin’s, Mrs. Phebus said, “I have loved every minute of it. My clients are my friends after all these years.”
It’s a career that has spanned many hairstyles. Mrs. Phebus said when she began work as a hairdresser the Dorothy Hamill look was in style.
She remembers many variations of that look as well as the Toni Tenille cut, wedge cuts, curly hair, jacked-up bangs and “hair straight up to the ceiling.”
She said she has been blessed to have worked at J. Marlin’s and for Wright.
“Jeff has been so good to me. He has been wonderful to work for. It’s been a pleasure to work here,” she said.
As a testament to the love she has for her work, Mrs. Phebus informed Wright that she still plans to be at work around 8:30 a.m. for what will be her final day at J. Marlin’s.

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