Philip F. Bellace

Philip F. Bellace

Royal Salon haircuts cost 20 bucks, but the entertainment was priceless: a steady stream of laughter, opinions and arguments punctuated by Phil singing classics from Dino and Frank.  Actually it was mostly the opinions; adamantly expressed. You always left looking good with a smile on your face.  It was quite a journey: at the age of 13 he started training in Philadelphia and cutting hair on weekends and during the summer.  He’d take over where his father left off.  Another barber was nice enough to let Phil run his dad’s shop under his license at the bottom of the steps on Kings Highway.  He’d later move his operation to 2nd street and eventually to Mickleton.  Getting your first haircut at Phil’s was a right of passage for most boys in the area.  The long hair rage of the 1960’s was tough on Phil but his loyal base kept him in business.  If he wasn’t cutting hair he was obsessing about sports:  Phil supported and funded the Coach’s Trophy for the Kingsway/Clearview Thanksgiving football game and in the 80’s he had a sports show on WJIC radio with John Buyarski: play by play and lots of color commentary.  He was Catholic through and through: Phil was an altar server as a boy and today you could hear him ringing the bells at 7:30 mass if there were no altar servers at that mass. Phil yearned to have the Latin Mass back.  Though he was always involved behind the scenes in Swedesboro politics he limited his official positions to winding the clock in the Borough Hall Tower, raking in the princely sum of 50 dollars a year.  Phil enjoyed his Monday night card game with the guys.  They played every week until social distancing broke up the game.  A graduate of St. James he was voted Mr. Spirit his Senior year, 1965.  A proud Spartan til the end.

Turns out a pretty girl was teaching his daughter.  He’d meet Christine Randazzo at a back to school night.  They’d start dating after his daughter graduated from  East Greenwich Elementary School.  May 1984 was their first date, July found them getting engaged; nuptials were  December 29th; the hottest December 29th on record  to this day.

Phil is survived by his wife of 35 years, Christine.  Children: Christa (Brian) Moss, Philip C. Bellace, Sondramarie (Daniel) Wyckoff, Romano Bellace and his  grandchild, Jordan Wyckoff. He was the brother of Charles and Rosemarie Bellace and the son of the late Charles and Santina Bellace.  He also has many loving nieces and nephews. Family will celebrate 72 great years privately but a memorial mass will be held at a later date.


  1. Donald Doak says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Phil. I’ll never forget his laugh, his stories and the way he always watched the parking lot of the shop as he was “holding court”. He loved his family, and his beloved Swedesboro. He will be missed by all who crossed paths. Rest In Peace my friend.

  2. Carol Zitkevitz says:

    Our hearts are broken for your family’s loss. Phil was one of a kind and will be missed by many people. Rest easy our dear friend.

  3. Jim and Debbie Siano says:

    Phil was a very good friend of mine i loved going to see him and get a good laugh i will really miss you loved you like a bother. Jim

  4. Mayor Vernon R. Marino says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bellace family during this difficult time. Today and always, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength. Phil was a staple in our community and will be missed each and every day. He will remain in our hearts forever.

  5. Tom Sweeney says:

    In my first year teaching at SJHS , Phil was a student. He later became a close friend and confidant. In the 40 years since I left S. Jersey, Phil and I spoke often by phone and email. When Pat and I visited S.Jersey, we always stopped and visited with Phil at his home. I’ve lost many friends over the past few years but this loss of Phil hurts the most. I know how much he has done for SJHS and his charitable works, he has surly earned his place in Heaven. Rest in Peace my dear friend. Tom Sweeney

  6. Jon Welikey says:

    Since I moved to South Jersey in 2006, I have been going to Phil for a haircut. I could have chosen to go anywhere, but visiting Phil was a treat. I learned more about the local area and life in general during those 15 minutes than I could have learned anywhere else. He made a connection with every customer. I will miss those haircuts. I will really miss his stories, his jokes and just catching up on everything else. My condolences to his family. RIP Phil.

  7. Nancy McCloskey says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Phil’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  8. Randy Marcucci says:

    Neat, dynamic man. Kind of supporter every town & school benefits from. Only barber who not only cut my head hair but would cut my nose hairs too.

  9. Len Redkoles says:

    Phil you were a true treasure who will be greatly missed RIP!

  10. Mike Sarbello says:

    The extremely sad news of Phil’s death is something that I can still hardly believe. It is impossible to put into words how I feel about Phil and our relationship as cousin and good friend. Even though I live in Florida now, Phil and I spoke on the phone regularly. To his family ,please accept my most sincere sympathy in the wake of Phil’ passing. Phil will be long remembered by many. He had a rare warmth of personality and beauty of character that left a lasting impression upon all who met him.

  11. Bonnie Cardillo hagenbarth says:

    Dear Bellace Family,
    I was very saddened to hear of Phil’s passing. He and my Dad, Lou Cardillo, formed a special relationship of respect and caring after Phil’s father , Charlie, passed away. Many happy hours were spent together with their customers in that old Swedesboro barbershop. I pray that you will be sustained and comforted by your many happy memories together. God bless and comfort you during these difficult times.

  12. Steven Stoehr says:

    One of the best recommendations I ever got was in 2005 when I was told to see Phil for a haircut. Little did I know then that for 15 years, those haircuts every two to three weeks would become some of the best times since I moved to Woolwich Twp. Phil started out as my barber, but became a great friend. He had a heart of gold and cared deeply for his family, friends, and community. I will miss his laugh and his great stories. Although I know I must find another barber, no one will ever live up to best barber there was. Take care my friend, rest easy now. Love and prayers to his family and all those who knew Phil

  13. Wayne and Peggy Fiderko says:

    We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Christine and family for Phil’s passing. This was a sad surprise for everyone and he will truly be missed by all. God Bless You, ,Peggy and Wayne Fiderko

  14. Peggy Newton says:

    To my dear friend Rosie and the rest of the Bellace family, I share with you my sadness and send to you my very sincere sympathy. Anyone who lived in Swedesboro, or was associated with St. James High School called Phil “my friend”. Indeed, he was good to everyone. His kindness and generosity were difficult to match. I remember the uplifting mood he set when he came to the house to cut Del’s hair when he was so very sick. Phil, maybe you will soon be cutting the hair of all the heavenly creatures.

  15. Dawn & Bobby W. says:

    To the Bellace Family,
    We were so saddened to hear of Phil’s passing . It was truly a pleasure to know him, I am going to miss him. We hope you feel the love that surrounds you now and always. Our hearts go out to you and your family.

  16. Molly Clerecuzio says:

    My husband Chuck loves visiting Phil. They shared a love of college football and New Jersey. Phil gave my son his very first haircut. Rest In Peace.

  17. P. J. Mattson says:

    My first hair cut was given to me by Phil’s father. When Charlie died and Phil started his own barber shop, I had my hair cut by him except when the US Army drafted me. I help him with his model railroad off and on as he keep changing things. We grew up a block and a half from each other. I have know and been friends with him all our lives. I will miss him dearly. Rest in Peace my friend.

  18. Michelle Donnelly says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I did not know Phil personally but he sounds like a wonderful person who loved his family and his community. May God help you all through this difficult time. Chris, I am keeping you and all of your family in my prayers.

  19. Melissa Koser says:

    Love and hugs to my aunt, cousins and extended family who are grieving the loss of “Uncle Phil”. I didn’t get to see him much the last couple decades as I’m living in Virginia with my young family. My first memory of him is from when I was 5 or 6? He was dating my “Aunt Kee” (Chris) and I remember their “snuggle spot” on the couch at my grandmother’s house. In the past few years he’d sometimes slip several 5’s to my mom to pass along to my kids who he had never been able to meet due to our distance. I so wish the circumstances were different and I could have been there today to love on my family members he leaves behind to grieve his absence. I loved learning about the clock winding story today! Love from down south!

  20. George EDWARDS says:

    Phil was one of those few outstanding individuals. I will always cherish our relationship. I like to think of Phil as a brother more then a friend.. Chris please accept my dearest and sincere sympathy in the pass of Phil. I will keep my found memories of Phil close to my heart for the rest of my life.

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