Rene James Illich, “Mr. Long Beach Barber Shop,” was born July 13,1933 at home on Myrtle Street in Biloxi, Mississippi to Mike and Rena Illich.
Rene was raised on Possum Point, Myrtle Street. He attended Biloxi Schools, graduated from Biloxi High School where he starred as a wide receiver on their football team. He married his high school sweetheart, Shannon Fountain. She was the love of his life. Dad never got over losing “his Shannon.” It is wonderful that they are all together again right now.
Dad joined the Air Force and was stationed at George Air Force Base in Adelanto, California right smack in the middle of the desert where their first child, David, was born. It was far from their upbringing in Biloxi. Ronnie then Tommy, then Glynn, then Lori then KK followed for 6 kids growing up at the end of 2nd Street in Long Beach,
Dad was an extremely hardworking man. None of his kids will ever forget how tired he was when he got home. Somehow, he and mom would almost always attend our sports events.
Dad was very proud of his 6 kids’ independence and self-reliance. Like Dad, we are all hardworking and believe in being responsible. Rene is proud of his 18 hardworking grandchildren, serving our country with careers as officers in our nations Armed Services, doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, librarians, accountants and financial investors, forensic science investigator and also following in his footsteps as a barber. He also has 13 great-grandchildren, including his newest born, Jade born this past Monday. We look forward to watching them grow into their careers. They will be proud to one day hear of both Rene and Shannon lives.
Dad loved Long Beach. He loved St. Thomas Church. He loved the New Orleans Saints. He loved his customers at the Barber Shop and knew many for decades. He loved his parents, Mike and Rena and our mom, Shannon. We can smile that he is now with his wife and parents. The Long Beach community and his family have lost a legendary gentleman.
A celebration of his life will be Saturday, August 20, 2022. Visitation will be 8:30-10:00 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 720 E Beach Blvd, Long Beach, MS 39560. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 and burial will be in Gulf Pines Memorial Gardens. A reception will be at St. Thomas Community Center after the burial.
In lieu of flowers. please send any donations to the Long Beach, St. Thomas Church Condolence Committee or St. Thomas Life Teen.
The Riemann Family Funeral Home, Long Beach, is serving the family and online condolences may be offered at www.riemannfamily.com