A block party will be held to celebrate the life of Cynthia Jane Heppinstall, 86, of Germantown, the former owner-operator of Heppinstall Hair Studio, who died June 22 of a heart attack at Roxborough Memorial Hospital.
Mrs. Heppinstall prepared for careers in both banking and cosmetology, the art of hairdressing, but fate intervened in favor of the latter.
“She opened up the salon with the intent of giving it to my younger brother, but he wasn’t that interested, so she ended up doing it herself,” said her son Eric Heppinstall.
The salon was at 63 W. Maplewood Mall in Germantown, where she and three other stylists catered to customers of various racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The beauty shop operated from 1982 until 2016, when she retired for health reasons and closed the business. “She did do some hair out of her house,” but not often, her son said.
As she washed, combed, colored, plaited, curled, or straightened hair, Mrs. Heppinstall liked to dispense opinions on the chatter she heard from the customers.
“She was a very intelligent woman,” said daughter-in-law Carla Emel. “She was known for giving good advice to all. She was special to all who knew her.”
Born in Philadelphia, Mrs. Heppinstall was the daughter of William and Floretta Tyree Outlaw.
As a girl, she attended Ida Mae Gray Elocution School, where she learned to express herself clearly and effectively. She was educated at the city’s public schools, Philadelphia Finishing School, Temple University School of Banking, and Reed School of Cosmetology.
In 1956, she married musician Frank Heppinstall, whom she met when she heard him play the tenor saxophone.
Mrs. Heppinstall earned a cosmetology license in 1970, and kept it current until last year. While running the business, she found time to be a devoted mother to two children and a stepson.
She enjoyed cooking and sewing some of her own clothes, her son said.
Besides her son, she is survived by another son, Marcus; stepson Jerome Caulk; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a sister; a niece; and a nephew. Her husband died in 2009 at age 78.
The block party to celebrate Mrs. Heppinstall’s life will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, in the 300 block of West Winona Street in Germantown. Burial will be private.